Policy development must include a greater understanding of the historical development of foreign language in general education. This vital link has been lacking in the past century as foreign language has struggled to realign itself with the changing mission of general education. For example, there are distinct curricular differences between a general education for all students and one for leadership and higher education. Only the latter makes room for solid foreign language education. In addition, the study of foreign language has remained primarily a beginning-level endeavor for the majority of students over the past century. This trend results in significant pressure on the beginning level curriculum, particularly during periods of reform, to provide multiple academic outcomes in education.
JOHN L. WATZKE is Assistant Professional Specialist and Fellow at the Institute for Educational Initiatives, University of Notre Dame.
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