What to tell parents
Students who study a foreign language benefit in quantifiable ways. Research shows that students’ overall school performance and problem-solving skills improve when they study a foreign language; that multiple years of foreign-language study raises SAT scores more than multiple years of study in any other subject area; and that foreign-language learners have high academic achievement in college.
The College Board reports that students who completed at least four years of a foreign language scored more than 100 points higher on the SAT (both portions) than students who took one semester or less of a foreign language.
Additionally students benefit from the increased ability to communicate effectively with people from other cultures and countries. This life-long cultural and linguistic fluency contributes to personal satisfaction and a sense of achievement. It also suggests an interest in people from other cultures; an interest which can open doors for our Indiana students.
What to tell administrators
All students should learn or maintain at least one language in addition to English.
Learning languages should be a central part of the curriculum at all levels of instruction.
Language learning should be offered in a clearly-sequential curriculum that allows for increasing levels of proficiency at each level of instruction.
Source: “What Do We and Our Students Need in Indiana?” – Recommendations of the Indiana Task Force on Foreign Language Learning (2006).