Introduced Version





SENATE CONCURRENT
RESOLUTION No.
_____




DIGEST OF INTRODUCED RESOLUTION

    A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION urging the Legislative Council to establish an interim study committee to study issues pertaining to foreign language learning opportunities for Indiana students.



WALTZ




     , read first time and referred to Committee on








Introduced

Second Regular Session 114th General Assembly (2006)


SENATE CONCURRENT
RESOLUTION No. _____



    A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION urging the Legislative Council to establish an interim study committee to study issues pertaining to foreign language learning opportunities for Indiana students.

    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 (Spring 2004) confirms that:
1 *      The experience of many other countries supports the need for second language instruction to begin well below high school and continue throughout the educational pipeline;
2 *      Foreign language learning experiences must be available and encouraged for all students; and
3 *      Sufficient instructional time must be provided for language learners to acquire meaningful levels of language competence;


    Whereas, a U.S. 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 U.S. University Presidents Summit on International Education, President George W. Bush announced the National Security Language Initiative which will:
4 *      "Increase the number of Americans mastering critical need languages and start at a younger age;
5 *      Increase the number of advanced-level speakers of foreign languages, with an emphasis on critical need languages; and
6 *      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 "foreign language study should begin in elementary school for all children;"

    Whereas, according to the Center for Applied Linguistics, 24% of U.S. public elementary schools 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, less than 15% study foreign language at the middle level, and 44% at the high school;

    Whereas, Under Secretary 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;"

Be it resolved by the Senate     of the General Assembly

of the State of Indiana, the House of Representatives     concurring:


    SECTION 1. That the Indiana General Assembly recognizes that the economic well-being of Hoosiers demands the global perspective provided through the study of foreign languages and cultures.
    SECTION 2. That the issues to be studied by the committee, if established, include, but are not limited to the following:
1 1.      The development of a strategy for introducing foreign language instruction in the early grades that continues throughout Indiana's educational pipeline;
2 2.      The development of policy recommendations for consideration by the General Assembly; and
3 3.      Any other issues pertaining to the study of foreign languages as determined necessary by the committee.
    SECTION 3. That the committee, if established, shall operate under the direction of the Legislative Council and that the committee shall present its findings and recommendations in a final report when directed to do so by the Legislative Council.