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ERIC Number: EJ1225293
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Aug-16
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0889
Critical Languages and College Choice
Schulz, Hannah; Taylor, Alexander; Parks, Rodney
College and University, v94 n3 p57-60, 62 Aug 2019
Critical languages refers to less commonly taught languages that the U.S. State Department has deemed necessary for U.S. national defense (Department of Defense 2000). In the current era of globalization and growing interconnectedness, the need for proficient speakers of critical languages has become increasingly urgent. While many foreign businesses, diplomats, and immigrants speak English as a second language, it is vital for the United States to increase its population of critical language speakers. Critical languages, determined by the U.S. Department of Defense, include but are not limited to Arabic, Chinese Mandarin, Dari, Farsi, Indonesian, Kurdish, Korean, Pashtu, Russian, Turkish, and Urdu (Defense Intelligence Agency 2010). In 2006 the U.S. government announced its goal to broaden the base of Americans studying and mastering critical languages. This objective, titled the National Security Language Initiative (NSLI), was intended to develop foreign language skills and dramatically increase the number of U.S. citizens learning critical languages (U.S. State Department 2006). Other programs sprouted from this initiative, including STARTALK and the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NLSI-Y), which are designed for secondary school students studying critical languages. Other programs, including the Youth Exchange and Study Abroad (YESAbroad) program, take different approaches by promoting cultural exchange and critical language study through cultural immersion. While most of the research related to Department of Defense programs is not easily accessible by the public, there is also little research examining the admissions decisions of students who have studied a critical language. The current study seeks to examine whether critical language programs influence higher education admissions decisions and whether institutions recognize the study and assessment of critical languages.
American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO). One Dupont Circle NW Suite 520, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-293-9161; Fax: 202-872-8857; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A