GA Trade July-Aug 2014 - page 17

S P O T L I G H T S
French as a second language and
only 11% reported that they are
able to speak German on a conver-
sational level. In addition, we were
looking primarily at households
where the native language was
English as a single language.
GAT:
Overall, a 2% ROI on
learning a foreign language other
than English, as shown in your
research, seems rather sobering.
What is your stand on teaching
foreign languages in the U.S.?
AS:
As a pure financial investment
it is really not worth it. We studied
other returns of education as well
and found out that in general every
extra year of education is associ-
ated with anywhere from 7% to
12% return of investment. A 2%
ROI for studying a foreign language
is relatively low. Now that being
said, learning a foreign language is
not only a purely financial decision.
There are other elements that
matter in learning a foreign
language. On a more psychological
or cognitive level, the impact of
learning a foreign language has
several benefits that cannot be
valued monetarily: The personal
enjoyment of being able to read
literature in its original language,
for example.
GAT:
Bryan Caplan, Professor
of Economics at GeorgeMason
University, took the position of
a language sceptic, when he
commented on an interview you
gave to Stephen Dubner of NPR
Freakonomics Radio. He does not
see the point in learning a foreign
language, if it is not absolutely
necessary for a career.What is
your response?
AS:
Again, I do not think that you
GermanAmerican Trade July/Aug 2014
17
1...,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16 18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,...40
Powered by FlippingBook