Foreign Language Instruction in U.S. Schools: Results of a National Survey of Elementary and Secondary Schools
Article first published online: 4 MAY 2011
© 2011 American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, Inc.
Foreign Language Annals
Volume 44, Issue 2, pages 258–288, Summer 2011
How to Cite
Pufahl, I. and Rhodes, N. C. (2011), Foreign Language Instruction in U.S. Schools: Results of a National Survey of Elementary and Secondary Schools. Foreign Language Annals, 44: 258–288. doi: 10.1111/j.1944-9720.2011.01130.x
- Issue published online: 4 MAY 2011
- Article first published online: 4 MAY 2011
- Submitted October 18, 2010, Accepted January 6, 2011
- foreign language education;
- K–12 education;
- language policy;
- language survey;
- world language education
Abstract: How well are our schools preparing students to become global citizens who can communicate in languages other than English? To answer this question, we surveyed a nationally representative sample of more than 5,000 U.S. public and private elementary and secondary schools. Results identify current patterns and shifts over time in five key areas of K–12 foreign language education: amount of language instruction; languages and program types offered; curriculum and instruction; teacher certification, professional development, and teacher shortages; and the effects of education reform. Results reveal that despite some positive developments, overall foreign language instruction has decreased over the past decade and the achievement gap has widened. The article concludes with recommendations on how to progress toward achieving foreign language proficiency for all students.