LLAS News Blog

News articles of interest to higher education LLAS subject fields.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

USA: More Students Taking Arabic May Not Translate Into More Cultural Comprehension

Over the past decade, the federal government has provided resources to colleges to strengthen programs in Arabic and other languages deemed critical to the economy and security of the United States. That effort has increased the number of undergraduates whose first major was Arabic from 13 in 2002-3 to 57 in 2007-8, notes the Education Department's 2009 "Digest of Education Statistics," released on April 7.

And the number of students taking Arabic courses nearly doubled, to 24,000, between 2002 and 2006, according to the Modern Language Association.

But some scholars say that linguistic competence does not equal cultural competence—and that the latter is what is sorely needed.

The Chronicle of Higher Education

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