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ACTFL’s enrollment study found that from 2004–05 to 2007–08 more K–12 public school students enrolled in foreign language courses, yet, despite this increase, only 18.5% of all students were enrolled. Compared to other nations where nearly all students study a second or third language, the overall picture remains unsatisfactory. Looking forward, the impact of the current economic situation on public school budgets presents a potential threat to these gains. Enrollment levels should be studied annually to fully understand impacts, such as economic conditions, on our national language capability pipeline, which will determine our national ability to meet future public and private sector demand for language skills. This highlights the need for all states to track language enrollments (only 34 states as of 2007–08) and for standardized reporting across states.

The Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts (ELA) and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects contains four strands: Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, and Language.  These four strands are represented in the National Standards for Learning Languages by the Communication standards (interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational) and the level of proficiency demonstrated.   In addition, the standards of the other four goals areas for learning languages – Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities – also support and are aligned with the Common Core.  These standards describe the expectations to ensure all students are college-, career-, and world-ready.

The U.S. Department of Education has established its first-ever, fully articulated international strategy. The strategy is designed to simultaneously advance two strategic goals: strengthening U.S. education and advancing our nation’s international priorities. The strategy reflects the value and necessity of:

More than forty language educators from the United and Europe met recently in Provo, Utah to explore common understandings about language proficiency as shared by the ACTFL and the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) Communities.