Many Schools Moving Towards Mandatory Foreign Language Study

According to the American Translators Association, Kentucky has a go-ahead vote by its Board of Education, as it has begun a World Language Program Review of the state’s public high schools. The process is to implement a universal foreign language education in the state of Kentucky. Elementary schools and middle schools will have programs that require students to meet the state’s new requirements for global competency. Reviews will require schools to gather evidence to show how they integrate foreign languages and other subjects across curricula to provide students with a higher quality of learning opportunities.

Education - Pupils at primary or elementary school doing their h

Catherine Del Valle, interim vice president of the Kentucky World Language Association, acknowledges the difficulties but says the state needs global competency to remain competitive in an international marketplace. Del Valle says the end goal is to start language training early so that students will be ready to become truly proficient when they reach high school. Then she adds, “What’s the use of studying a language if you can’t use it to communicate?”

Many other states have also moved towards requiring foreign languages for student to graduate. As some states do not fully require languages for graduation, many have options that include the requirement. In Ohio, languages are not required, but for students that would like to graduate with honors, they are required two consecutive years of the same language. The National Council of State Supervisors for Languages (NCSSFL) includes information over the following 28 States about specific language requirements.

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

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