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U.S. students continue to lag in foreign language study |

U.S. students continue to lag in foreign language study

| Wednesday, August 8, 2018 10:03 a.m

With the start of a new school year just around the corner, a new post on the Pew Research Center’s Fact Tank shows how exceptional K-12 education in the U.S. ranks in the world of bilingualism. It’s not good.

While discussions of STEM education have dominated the public conversation here, students throughout Europe have been been studying a second language. According to the Fact Tank, the most recent numbers show a median of 92 percent of students throughout Europe learns at least one second language in school.

The most common foreign language is English.

In countries such as Bulgaria, Estonia and Hungary, more than 4 out of 5 students learn a foreign language. In France, foreign language is a universal requirement.

The exact opposite holds true in the U.S. where the 2017 National K-12 Foreign Language Enrollment Survey found about 20 percent of U.S. students studied a foreign language.

At least Pennsylvania didn’t fall to the bottom of that list. The survey found 19.94 percent of the state’s 2 million K-12 students study a foreign language.

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