U. S. Foreign Language Deficit and Our Economic and National Security: A Bibliographic Essay on the U. S. Language Paradox

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How has the American deficiency in foreign language study affected foreign policy, diplomacy, the economy, and most of all national security. This book showcases how the use of a second language can be helpful in political and economic circumstances. Various policy initiatives are analyzed to discuss their efficiency in bringing languages to American citizens. A recent study found that only 25% of Americans are fluent in a foreign language. Stein-Smith argues that once you remove the first generation immigrant population from those numbers you are left with an extremely negligible number of citizens who can functionally speak a foreign language. This is problematic for many social, political, and economic reasons. In a globalizing world America needs to be competitive by teaching foreign languages to its populace.


“This book makes a significant contribution to the discussion on language deficiencies in the United States and how they can be addressed. The beginning of this book provides an assessment of the language deficit in the United States by assessing the shortfall, how the U.S. got to such a state, and comparison to the rest of the world. This establishes a framework for exploring advantages of learning another language. The development of such skills is an advantage that many have acknowledged throughout the decades, which is evident by the 1989 report by the American Council of Education that set a goal of foreign language competency in the United States by 2000. Yet, to date, we have not come close to achieving this goal.”
Dr. Paulette Laubsch,
Fairleigh Dickinson University

“In today’s global market and in a world where cultural understanding should be the first line of defense in fostering international relations that enhance national security, Americans are woefully monolingual.”
Prof. Thomas M. Gardner,
Westfield State University

“This is a timely and extremely relevant book that significantly contributes to the discourse of language deficiency in the education system of the United States.”
Prof. Aixa A. Ritz,
Fairleigh Dickinson University

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