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Foreign Language Study in the U.S.


  • Edward N. Bouffard M.S.

    1. (M.S., University of Southern California) is a retired Navy Captain who has been studying Spanish and Spain in Spain since October 1977.
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ABSTRACT The Report of the President's Commission on Foreign Language and International Studies has made a number of costly recommendations to improve foreign language instruction. Strangely, the report jailed to hit the nail on the head! Therefore, there is a good possibility that much of the proposed funding will be misspent. In looking at the national problem, the Commission overlooked the basic cause of that problem—the needs of the individual student. Related to these needs are: student motivation; knowledge “explosion;” unsatisfactory curriculum design (related to a poor teaching philosophy); a clear definition of proficiency and what it means; and employment opportunities using the language. What is worse is a failure to recognize that mandatory language instruction is completely out of date. The author's experience with three languages indicates that a six-year program of coordinated language instruction is within the realm of educational possibility, would be relatively inexpensive and would accomplish the result desired by the Commission.