Paige Hunter

“The State of Foreign Language Education in the United States”


Overview

Many European students know three or more languages (their native language, English, and one other foreign language). This synthesis intends to identify how American students compare to their peers around the globe, by seeking answers to the following questions:

  • What effect does knowing multiple languages have on the learning process?
  • How many students in the United States know a second language compared to students in Europe?
  • What are the educational options for learning a foreign language in the United States?
  • Are these educational options accessible and effective?

It has been found that knowing multiple languages benefits the learning process by increasing the development of executive function. Additionally, being multilingual affects the density of grey matter in the brain. The synthesis then explores the data comparing the number of students who are studying a foreign language in Europe and in the United States. The possible reasons for the disparity are explored and the education options that are offered in the United States are examined with respect to their accessibility and effectiveness. These options consist of immersion programs, blended learning programs, and traditional classroom instruction. 

To read the full synthesis, click here.

To see the references used for the project, click here. 

How are U.S. Students Learning a Foreign Language?