Making

Foreign Language Learning

More Inclusive



From the beginning, when I started FLSAS, I have believed that Foreign Language Learning needs to be

more inclusive in the United States.  In European Countries, and most other places worldwide, foreign languages are considered a necessity.

‚ÄĘIn the United States, past the minimum required by each state, foreign languages are only studied by those who are “good” in foreign languages.¬† Those who are “not good” in foreign languages are not motivated to go on.

‚ÄĘThe same thing at the college level.¬† Students who might benefit career wise by learning a foreign language only take foreign languages if they “good” in the language.

‚ÄĘAnd it continues … with adults (executives and professionals).¬† ¬†Just like some people do not want to¬†go to the dentist because of the fear of anticipated pain, some adults have a fear of studying languages because they are afraid they will not do well.¬† They are afraid of making mistakes and people laughing at their mistakes.

However, knowledge of a foreign language for many careers is a necessity.  Forget the apprehension.

You have to think of it as a skill.  The more you practice it, the better you get.  It is like a sport, or music, or cooking, or a craft.  It is not about facts that you can learn.

FLSAS encourages ALL students, “good” language students and “not so good” language students to study abroad.

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E-mail: LRH@flsas.com