Professional-Level Proficiency by Graduation: Measured Outcomes of Integrated Study Abroad in the Language Flagship Programs, 2013–2014Back to table of contents
American students can attain advanced or professional levels of proficiency in a foreign language by the time they graduate from college by enrolling in standards-based language courses at their home university together with a year of integrated study abroad. For example, the Language Flagship model prepares students at twenty-five American universities to operate at a professional level in speaking, reading, and listening through intensive training at home and an overseas capstone year that brings students to Level 3.
Likewise, the State Department’s National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) and Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program support over one thousand students of critical languages in overseas language study annually. Participants in the federal overseas programs come from all socioeconomic backgrounds, including students who have never before left the United States or studied the language in question. The data indicate that most students can learn a language successfully, given proper instruction and adequate support.