Provide an article about the importance of languages!

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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A go-to resource center for language articles an information is the ACTFL, or the American Council of Teachers of Foreign Language. Their site also features articles from prominent researchers in the area of English language, English as a Foreign Language, Second Language, and English for Specific Purposes (ESP).

The latter is a current hot topic in education. English for Specific Purposes is right now a broadly taught subject particularly in India and other Asian countries that are skill-specifically needed in different fields where English is the dominant language. For example, the field of technology has many headquarters in Asia. In order to communicate with the English-speaking world, specific personnel are trained in English with work-specific vocabulary in order for them to be able to interact. 

One of the most recent articles on this topic is "Languages For Specific Purposes in the 21st Century" which is published in The Language Educator (2013). Author Douglas Crouse talks about how "Global Fluency is the new differentiator of the 21st century resume". The ability to be willing to learn a language as part of a "standard" for business vocabulary denotes the ability to extend and expand communication. In a world that has "shrunk", the chances of future professionals to have contact with people of other cultures and countries is 100% higher. The more technology unites us as a civilization the more flexible we have to become with all that is new and different.

Creatively-designed LSP courses offer students real-world opportunities to practice language and navigate culture in the context of a specific field. 

The implication of all this is that the importance of language continues to supersede the importance of technology and, as a result of the growth of the latter, the later needs to be revisited as a agent of social change. The more technology expands, ironically, the more language we need to learn. Why? Because technology comes with its very own terminology that is to be customized to the needs of the culture that uses it. In other words, language maintains its great importance in the world and will continue to gain it as we come closer together. Therefore, we need to start thinking about side the box and embrace the reality that language learning is of extreme importance. Notice that Americans are the only ones who do not actively pursue the teaching of languages in public schools, whereas Asians, Europeans, South Americans, Caribbeans, Canadians, and even in Africa foreign language learning is customary. Therefore, our country needs to shift paradigms when it comes to communication, culture, and connections. 

SOURCE: Crouse, Douglas. "Languages for Specific Purpose in the 21st Century." The Language Educator 1st ser. 3.4 (2013): 112-13. ACTFL. Web. 07 Nov. 2013. <http://www.actfl.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/TLE_pdf/TLE_Apr13_Article.pdf>.

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