International Journal of Language & Linguistics

ISSN 2374-8850 (Print), 2374-8869 (Online)

Foreign Languages: A World of Possibilities
Kathleen Stein-Smith, Ph.D.

Abstract
While English is often thought of as the global language or global lingua franca, the world is multilingual. English is not the most frequently spoken mother tongue in the world, and is not spoken by 75% of the world population. However, many English-speakers are reluctant to learn another language because of their belief that English is enough, resulting in a foreign language deficit in the US and the Anglophone world. In addition, languages can have local, regional, national, international, and global significance, and the influence of a particular language or languages can change and has varied over time. The ability and willingness to speak another language opens up a whole new world of possibilities—careers, global citizenship, and personal and cultural growth. Foreign language educators, advocates, and other stakeholders can and should work together to increase awareness, provide access to continued instruction to proficiency, and create career pathways.

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