International Educator - May/June 2016 - 76

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FORUM
By Kathleen Stein-Smith

Beyond
Foreign Languages
Foreign Language as a
Global Competency in
International Education

76  

Students from around the world-some with limited
English proficiency-come to our campuses, and U.S.
students-in increasing numbers and generally speaking
only English-prepare for study abroad.

The Impact of the U.S. Foreign Language
Deficit on Study Abroad

In a globalized world, with only approximately 10 percent
of U.S. undergraduate students studying abroad, it is imperative to expand international education both in terms
of more flexible study abroad options so that more students will have the opportunity to study abroad and more
importantly, in terms of international education on our
campuses through internationalization of the curriculum,
which would include courses with an international focus
as well as an increased presence of foreign languages.
In The Greenwood Encyclopedia of International Education, international education has been defined as "the
study of all aspects of society in other countries."
According to the late former president of Fairleigh
Dickinson University J. Michael Adams and his coauthor
Angelo Carfagna in Coming of Age in a Globalized World:
The Next Generation, "language is a critical instrument
that shapes one's view of the world. Understanding the
meaning of the words other people use yields perhaps the
most insight into cultural differences." 1
International education, therefore, includes the study of
other languages, and the lack of knowledge of other languages and about other cultures is a challenge to U.S. students
planning to study abroad and to U.S. campuses welcoming
international students about whose language and culture the
students, and even faculty and staff, may know little.
In broader terms, the relative lack of foreign language
skills among Americans negatively impacts our economic
and national security, career opportunities for monolingual Americans in a globalized workplace, and the ability
of Americans to effectively navigate our own multicultural
and multilingual communities.

According to Open Doors, a report published annually
by the Institute of International Education supported by
a grant from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, 289,408 U.S. students
studied abroad in 2012-13, up from 283,332 in 2011-2012.
Worldwide, a total of 886,052 students studied abroad in
2013-2014, up from a total of 819,644 in 2012-2013.2
Although the United States is a nation of immigrants,
the majority of Americans do not speak another language,
and this lack of foreign language skill negatively impacts
our economic and national security, our careers, and our
ability to be effective global citizens.
The lack of foreign language skills among Americans
not only limits the potential study abroad destinations that
many U.S. students are willing to consider, but even the
degree to which those who are willing to venture beyond
their linguistic comfort zone may be able to maximize
their educational and cultural experience because of their
lack of linguistic knowledge.
The United Kingdom is the leading study abroad destination for U.S. students, and even those Americans who
choose to study abroad in a country where English is not
the official language may have little or no knowledge of the
local language and be limited to courses taught in English
and intended for U.S. and other international students. In
addition, their opportunities for local cultural experiences,
social encounters, and casual conversation are limited for
those who do not possess proficiency in the local language.
However, for U.S. students, although in 2012-2013,
14.3 percent of bachelor's students studied abroad, that
number falls to only 1.5 percent of the total U.S. higher ed-

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR M AY + J U N E .16

ISTOCK/ SHUTTERSTOCK

U.S. students-in increasing numbers and generally
speaking only English-prepare for study abroad.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - May/June 2016

Toward a Better World
Tech Abroad
The University of Virginia Seeks to Emulate Its Founder
Frontlines
In Brief
Global Spotlight
Education Abroad
Foreign Student Affairs
International Enrollment
View From Out Here
Forum
In Focus
International Educator - May/June 2016 - BB1
International Educator - May/June 2016 - BB2
International Educator - May/June 2016 - Cover1
International Educator - May/June 2016 - Cover2
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 1
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 2
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 3
International Educator - May/June 2016 - Frontlines
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 5
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 6
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 7
International Educator - May/June 2016 - In Brief
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 9
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 10
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 11
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 12
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 13
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 14
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 15
International Educator - May/June 2016 - Global Spotlight
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 17
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 18
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 19
International Educator - May/June 2016 - Toward a Better World
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 21
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 22
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 23
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 24
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 25
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 26
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 27
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 28
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 29
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 30
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 31
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 32
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 33
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 34
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 35
International Educator - May/June 2016 - Tech Abroad
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 37
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 38
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 39
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 40
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 41
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 42
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 43
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 44
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 45
International Educator - May/June 2016 - The University of Virginia Seeks to Emulate Its Founder
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 47
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 48
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 49
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 50
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 51
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 52
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 53
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 54
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 55
International Educator - May/June 2016 - Education Abroad
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 57
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 58
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 59
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 60
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 61
International Educator - May/June 2016 - Foreign Student Affairs
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 63
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 64
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 65
International Educator - May/June 2016 - International Enrollment
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 67
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 68
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 69
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 70
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 71
International Educator - May/June 2016 - View From Out Here
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 73
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 74
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 75
International Educator - May/June 2016 - Forum
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 77
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 78
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 79
International Educator - May/June 2016 - In Focus
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International Educator - May/June 2016 - Cover4
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