Why foreign-language skills matter for the next-generation workforce

By: Kanoe Namahoe (SmartBrief)

Demand is growing for multilingual work talent. Organizations are increasingly seeking employees who can speak more than one language, according to a 2017 report from New American Economy. This is particularly true for companies and industries that provide services requiring high levels of human interaction, such as finance and health care.

And yet, foreign-language instruction does not appear to be a top priority in K-12 schools in America. A Pew Research report shows that 91% of students in European schools are learning English, while just 14% of US students are learning Spanish, 2% are learning French and 1% is learning German. What’s the reason for this variance?

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By Roger Adkins
Roger Adkins Executive Director, Center for Global Education