David L. Boren Awards for International Study

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MLA Issues Statement on Language Learning & National Policy

June 15, 2012

Last week, the Executive Council of the Modern Language Association (MLA) issued a statement on language learning and United States National Policy.  In the statement, the MLA discusses the importance of foreign language learning for individual Americans and U.S. national security.  They also express concerns about funding cuts for advanced language study over recent years. 

The statement reads:

Anyone interested in the long-term vitality and security of the United States should recognize that it will be detrimental for Americans to remain overwhelmingly monolingual and ill informed about other parts of this increasingly interdependent world.  We are therefore deeply alarmed by the drastic and disproportionate budget cuts in recent years to programs that fund advanced language study.  We believe that advanced language study is important for the same reasons many policy makers, advisers, and elected officials do: Americans need to be literate about the languages and cultures of the United States’ major trading partners, and Americans need to be literate in the so-called strategic languages important to national security.

To view the complete statement, visit the MLA website.