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Department of World Languages and Cultures
Rutgers University
Armitage Hall, 311 N. 5th Street
Camden, NJ 08102
(856) 225-6136
forlangs@camden.rutgers.edu

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Home » FAQs » Why does foreign language study matter, anyway?

Why does foreign language study matter, anyway?

Posted at 4:01 pm July 9, 2012,

Studying a foreign language is a wonderfully enriching, mind broadening experience, and an important part of a general education. But for more concrete reasons, look at our country, and look at the world. Millions of Americans speak languages other than English, many millions more come from families that spoke another language not many generations ago. Issues of immigration and language policy are frequent topics of political debate. Studying another language, any other language, will help you understand the issues faced by Americans who speak languages other than English, will help you understand the immigrant experience, may help you understand your neighbor, your family, or yourself. And look at the world: America is less isolated (like it or not!) and the world is more interconnected than ever. Economic opportunities, economic threats, opportunities for international cooperation, and threats to our security are everywhere. Studying another language will help you understand all these things. Finally, studying a foreign language helps you understand the nature of language itself, one of the most essential aspects of our humanity.  

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