n Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig - Foreign language policy and the development of Mandarin Chinese in the United States

Volume 46, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0259-9570



This paper discusses the development of foreign language policy in higher education in the United States (US) and indicates gaps in the study of foreign languages in higher education in that country. A discussion of current policy, provision, programmes and funding of foreign languages in higher education are presented, focusing on Title VI: The provision of the National Defense Education Act associated with foreign language study. The most recent policy for the teaching of modern foreign languages in higher education and the motivation behind such policy-making in the US are explored in detail. The extension of the teaching of Mandarin inspired by rapid economic development in China and strengthened by the demands of the language 'market' and the national strategy of the US is investigated. Concrete recommendations for the policy and provision of Mandarin instruction in higher education are proposed. Finally, the status of Mandarin in the study of foreign languages in the US is indicated: the teaching of Mandarin lags behind some European languages and is generally taught at elementary level.

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