ShareThis Page
Inside the Classroom

U.S. students continue to lag in foreign language study

| Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018, 10:03 a.m.

With the start of a new school year just around the corner, a new post on the Pew Research Center’s Fact Tank shows how exceptional K-12 education in the U.S. ranks in the world of bilingualism. It’s not good.

While discussions of STEM education have dominated the public conversation here, students throughout Europe have been been studying a second language. According to the Fact Tank, the most recent numbers show a median of 92 percent of students throughout Europe learns at least one second language in school.

The most common foreign language is English.

In countries such as Bulgaria, Estonia and Hungary, more than 4 out of 5 students learn a foreign language. In France, foreign language is a universal requirement.

The exact opposite holds true in the U.S. where the 2017 National K-12 Foreign Language Enrollment Survey found about 20 percent of U.S. students studied a foreign language.

At least Pennsylvania didn’t fall to the bottom of that list. The survey found 19.94 percent of the state’s 2 million K-12 students study a foreign language.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me