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Language education in the United States

Language education in the United States has historically involved teaching American English to immigrants and Spanish, French, Latin, Italian or German to native English speakers. Bilingual education was sponsored in some districts, often contentiously. Japanese language education in the United States increased following the Japanese post-war economic miracle. Chinese as a second language began to be taught more frequently in response to the Reform and opening of the People's Republic of China; this has included funding from the PRC Government.[1] In the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks, US Senator Norm Coleman called Arabic "the next strategic language".[2]

High schools in Oklahoma offer Cherokee and other Indian languages as second languages to count toward a foreign language requirement, and thousands of students, both indigenous and non-indigenous, enroll in classes.[3] In North Carolina, the North Carolina House of Representatives has passed a state bill which mandates the requirement of constituent institutions of the University of North Carolina to recognize Cherokee as a language for which a student may satisfy a foreign language course requirement for degree completion.[4] The bill was introduced by North Carolina State Senators Jim Davis and Andrew Brock and was passed in the North Carolina Senate on May 13, 2013.[4]

Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTLs) is a designation used for languages other than Spanish, French, and German, the three most commonly taught foreign languages in US public schools.



As of 2011, Tagalog was the fourth most spoken language in the United States.[5] Beginning in 1975, Tagalog began to be taught in San Diego County, with the first school where it was taught being Montgomery High School.[6] At the collegiate level, the language is taught in California, Hawaii, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Oregon Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.[7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Welch, Chris (January 19, 2011). "China-sponsored language programs in U.S. raise concerns, hopes". CNN.
  2. ^ CONCORDIA LANGUAGE VILLAGES MAKES ARABIC ANNOUNCEMENT Archived 2010-09-21 at the Wayback Machine (PDF) Concordia Language Villages
  3. ^ "Oklahoma Schools Push to Keep Native Languages Alive". Indian Country: Today Media December 6, 2012. Retrieved June 7, 2014.
  4. ^ a b Mckie B.P., Scott (July 19, 2013). "State Bill: Cherokee language recognized by UNC system". Cherokee One Feather. Retrieved June 7, 2014.
  5. ^ {Ryan, Camille (August 2013). Language Use in the United States: 2011 (PDF) (Report). United States Census Bureau. American Community Survey Reports. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
  6. ^ Lim, Ed (January 2010). "Filipino, Pilipino, Tagalog: Status of Filipino Classes in the U.S." (PDF). Language Training Center. San Diego State University. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  7. ^ Malabonga, Valeria (2009). "About the Tagalog Language" (PDF). Center for Applied Linguistics. Retrieved 13 May 2018.

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