Browsing: foreign languages

Lack of foreign language skills, education called 'a national disgrace'

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The state of foreign language education in the United States remains abysmal, and is endangering the federal government’s ability to operate in a multinational world, a panel of senior government officials testified today. Only 30 percent of American high school students and 8 percent of post-high school students are enrolled in a foreign language today, Eduardo Ochoa, the Education Department’s assistant secretary for postsecondary eduction, told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee on the federal workforce. And foreign language education is getting worse, Ochoa said. In the 1960s, 17 percent of post-high school students were enrolled in a…

DEA looking for Ebonics speakers?

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Now here’s what I call strategic workforce planning. The Drug Enforcement Administration is trying to hire up to nine contract linguists who are fluent in Ebonics, according to a request for proposal posted on the Smoking Gun this morning. The RFP, which was originally released in May, said it needs people in Atlanta to “listen to oral intercepts in English and foreign languages and provide a verbal summary, immediately followed by a typed summary” and then transcribe pertinent calls. Ebonics is just one of more than 100 languages requested in the RFP. It’s not surprising that the DEA is looking…