The U.S. Department of Education announced on July 22, 2008, the award of more than $2.2 million in grants to school districts in seven states to help increase the number of Americans learning foreign languages critical to national security and commerce. The five-year grants were awarded to local educational agencies to work in partnership with one or more institutions of higher education.
The funding, part of President Bush's National Security Language Initiative, is intended to address the shortage of critical foreign language speakers by supporting new and expanded programs in grades K-12.
"With our increasing global economy and national security needs, it's crucial that we have as many citizens as possible who can communicate in languages such as Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Korean and Hindi," said U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings.
Award recipients under the Foreign Language Assistance Program included:
The National Security Language Initiative aims to boost the number of Americans studying Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Hindi, Farsi and others in programs from kindergarten through college. To do that, the initiative helps develop teachers in those languages and encourage students to study critical foreign languages.
Besides the Education Department, other federal agencies have roles in the initiative, including the State Department, Defense Department and Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
For more information on
the department's Foreign Language Assistance Program, see http://www.ed.gov/programs/flapsea/index.html.
For details on the National Security Language Initiative, visit http://www.ed.gov/about/inits/ed/competitiveness/nsli/index.html.
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