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Why French Matters More Than You Think

Does French still matter? If so, why? This is a recent concern about the status of the study of French and other foreign languages and cultures in U.S. higher and secondary education at a time of increasing globalization.

The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language 2008 Survey indicates that more students are interested in studying French than any other foreign language in the United States. French enrollments in the United States are on the rise and are now at the highest level in over 20 years.

“New initiative has been taken from the French government to increase the amount of French instruction in American schools”

Over 220 million people around the world speak French. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 1-in-5 people, or 47 million U.S. residents age 5 and older, spoke a language other than English at home at the turn of the 21st century. After English and Spanish, Chinese was the language most commonly spoken at home (2.0 million speakers), followed by French (1.6 million speakers) and German (1.4 million speakers).
Reports say that 55 percent of the people who speak a language other than English at home in the U.S., they also speak English “very well.” All over Europe, French is still the main second language taught in school. And If you want to understand modern China and Russia, you need to know French language very well.

Here is how the “French government” defines what it calls “the sphere of French language.” It’s much larger than you think.

French, along with English, is the official working language of –

• The United Nations
• Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
• The International Labor Bureau
• The International Olympic Committee
• The 31-member Council of Europe
• The European Community
• The Universal Postal Union
• The International Red Cross
• Union of International Associations (UIA)

French is the dominant working language at –

• The European Court of Justice
• The European Tribunal of First Instance
• the Press Room at the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium

SPEAKING two languages rather than just one has obvious practical benefits in an increasingly globalized world. Bilingual’s usually considered more Smarter.