The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), a longstanding partner in DC Immersion’s work, recently released Making Languages Our Business: Addressing Foreign Language Demand Among U.S. Employers. This report highlights the increased demand for U.S.-based employees with language skills other than English, illustrates which sectors have an increased demand in recent years, and clearly states the necessity of language skills for international-facing work as well. The report also provides recommendations for businesses to address those needs for language skills and to contribute to the growth of a multilingual workforce. We are proud to partner with ACTFL in highlighting these findings and addressing the linguistic gaps in our workforce and communities which will inevitably impact our economy.

Key findings:

  • 9 out of 10 U.S. employers rely on employees with language skills other than English, and 47% of employers state a need for language skills exclusively for the domestic market. This means that whether our students here in DC have ambitions or connections to international organizations, they are likely to be seen here in the states as a desirable candidate due to their competencies in Spanish, Chinese, French, or Arabic (just a few of the most in-demand foreign languages reported by U.S. employers).
  • 56% of U.S. employers say the demand for language skills other than English will increase in the next 5 years.
  • 1 in 3 language-dependent U.S. employers report a language skills gap
  • 1 in 4 U.S. employers lost business due to a lack of language skills.  

ACTFL’s report also includes several recommendations for businesses, including conducting language needs analyses and inventories of linguistic and cultural competencies, focusing recruitment strategies on language needs, advocating for policies that respond to workforce needs, and more. 

Read the executive summary of the report here

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