Introduced Version






HOUSE

RESOLUTION No. ___



Introduced by: Frizzell


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        A RESOLUTION stressing the importance of foreign language instruction.
    

    Whereas, The Committee for Economic Development's February 9, 2006, report, Education for Global Leadership: The Importance of International Studies and Foreign Language Education for U.S. Economic and National Security, warns, "The United States will become less competitive in the global economy because of a shortage of strong foreign language and international studies programs at the elementary, high school, and college levels";

    Whereas, A Call to Action for National Foreign Language Capabilities, a report of the National Language Conference, convened by the Office of the Secretary of Defense in

partnership with other federal agencies, confirms that the experience of many other countries supports the need for second language instruction to begin well before high school and continue throughout the educational pipeline, foreign language learning experiences must be available and encouraged for all students, and sufficient instructional time must be provided for language learners to acquire meaningful levels of language competence;

    Whereas, A United States Senate Resolution designating 2005 the "Year of Foreign Language Study," co-sponsored by Indiana's Senator Richard Lugar, asserts, "That it is the sense of the Senate that foreign language study makes important contributions to a student's cognitive development, our national economy, and our national security.";

    Whereas, A recent study in Louisiana found that elementary students who received daily instruction in a foreign language outperformed other students on the state basic skills test, regardless of race, gender, or academic level;

    Whereas, At the January 5, 2006, United States University Presidents Summit on International Education, President George W. Bush announced the National Security Language Initiative, which will "increase the number of Americans mastering critical need languages and start at a younger age, increase the number of advanced-level speakers of foreign languages, with an emphasis on critical need languages, and increase the number of teachers of critical need languages and resources for them";

    Whereas, As early as 1992, the Indiana International Issues Task Force recommended in its report, Indiana in a Changing World: A Strategy for Action, that foreign language study should begin in elementary school for all children;

    Whereas, According to the Center for Applied Linguistics, 24% of public elementary schools in the United States report teaching foreign languages, yet, according to the Indiana Department of Education, fewer than 5% of Indiana's elementary students currently study a foreign language, fewer than 15% study a foreign language at the middle school level,

and 44% study a foreign language at the high school level; and

    Whereas, Undersecretary of Defense David S. Chu recently declared that "improving the nation's foreign language capability requires immediate and long-term engagement: every sector of our society has a role to play": Therefore,

Be it resolved by the House of Representatives of the

General Assembly of the State of Indiana:


    SECTION 1. That the Indiana House of Representatives wishes to express its belief that the economic well-being of Hoosiers demands the global perspective provided through the study of foreign languages and cultures.
    SECTION 2. That it is of vital importance to develop a strategy for introducing foreign language instruction in the early grades that continues throughout Indiana's educational pipeline.
    SECTION 3. That the Principal Clerk of the House of Representatives transmit a copy of this resolution to Superintendent of Public Instruction Suellen Reed.


20062501



HR 1582/DI 84

2006


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