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Seventeen Values of Foreign Language Study

These fifteen values were derived from a review of the literature.

The study of a foreign language is valuable because it:

a) offers a sense of a relevant past, both cultural and linguistic;

b) liberalizes one's experience (helps expand one's view of the world);

c) balances content and skills (rather than content versus skills)

d) contributes to the creation of a student's own individual personality;

e) encourages critical reflection on the relation of language and culture,

    language and thought; fosters an understanding of the interrelation of language

    and human nature;

f) contributes to cultural awareness or literacy (such as knowledge of original texts);

g) contributes to achievement of national goals, such as economic development or

    national security;

h) expands one's opportunities for meaningful leisure activities (such as travel,

    reading, or viewing foreign language films);

i) develops the intellect (includes learning how to learn)

j) improves one's knowledge of the native language (through comparison and contrast

    with the foreign language);

k) exposes the learner to modes of thought not in the native language;

l) builds practical skills (for purposes such as travel or commerce, or as a tool for

    other disciplines);

m) preserves (or fosters) a country's image as a cultured nation;

n) teaches and encourages respect for other peoples;

o) enables transfer of training (such as learning of a second foreign language).

These two values resulted from the research’s survey responses.

The study of a foreign language is valuable because it:

1) "can be a point for integration of many areas of study," and

2) "permits access to information unavailable in English."

Alan C. Frantz, "Seventeen Values of Foreign Language Study" (ADFL Bulletin, vol. 28, Nr.1, Fall 1996).