The Importance of Foreign Language Education

United States today carries new responsibilities in many quarters of the globe, and we are at a serious disadvantage because of the difficulty of finding persons who can deal with the foreign language problem.

                -U.S Secretary of State John Foster Dulles in 1953

For the United States to get to where it needs to be will require a national commitment to strengthening America’s foreign language proficiency.
                -CIA Director Leon Panetta

Today’s operating environment demands a much greater degree of language and regional expertise requiring years, not weeks, of training and education, as well as a greater understanding of the factors that drive social change.
                -Quadrennial Defense Review February 2010

It’s clear to all of us that schools, colleges, and universities need to invest more and smarter in linguistic instruction.
                -U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

We must support programs that cultivate interest in and scholarship in foreign languages and inter cultural affairs, including international exchange programs. This will allow citizens to build connections with people overseas and develop skills and contacts that will help them thrive in a global economy.
                -National Security Strategy May 2010

Our nation’s 21st century needs for Americans with global competence are much broader and deeper than anytime in our history—in many more languages and cultures, and across most professions.  Global competence must become part of our education system’s core mission, beginning in the earliest grades through graduate school. 
                -Miriam A. Kazanjian, Coalition for International Education

FLAP (Foreign Language Assistance Program) is a significant contribution to providing our students with the global language competencies and awareness, they, and our nation, must have to survive and prosper in the 21st Century.
                -Dr. J. David Edwards, Executive Director of the Joint National Committee for Languages

The United States is a “linguistically malnourished” country compared with many other nations.
                -Senator Paul Simon in the Tongue Tied American, 1980

You should be thinking about how can your child become bilingual. We should have every child speaking more than one language.
                -President Obama, 2008