Cutting U.S. foreign language education will cost us for generations
Monolingualism (the ability to speak only one language) may sound to some like a disease, and it’s certainly a condition that’s spreading throughout American higher education. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, a forthcoming report by the Modern Language Association — based on information from over 2,000 institutions — found that 651 foreign language offerings had been terminated between 2013 and 2016. That’s a 5.2% drop in just three years. While we won’t have all the details until the report is released in about a month, the trend is unfortunately clear. It’s imperative that we reverse it — for the good of America’s long-term economic and national security interests and the health of democratic civil society.