Mid-day Update

The value of learning a foreign language

Jeremy Hobson Mar 6, 2012

Figures out from the Goethe-Institut in Germany show that the number of Spanairds, Italians, and other Europeans looking to learn German were way up last year. In Spain alone, the figure rose 35 percent.

It seems as though this is linked to the desire to get a job in the more well to do countries — which I’m guessing means that Greek classrooms aren’t filling up too quickly.

For our Mid-day Extra, we’re going to explore why certain languages become more trendy — and perhaps valuable — with Michael Geisler, vice president of the Language Schools and Schools Abroad at Middlebury College.

He says that language trends often follow the ebb and flow of political power, with languages from Arabic to Japanese each gaining popularity at certain moments in U.S. history. And as it turns out, many Americans end up losing jobs to their more multi-lingual competitors overseas.

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