Effects of Technology-Enhanced Language Learning on Second Language Composition of University-Level Intermediate Spanish Students Page: 3
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by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) refers to it simply as
"The Year of Languages."
Leadership in the United States has consistently supported language study on paper and
verbally (if not always in funding). The National Governors Association has repeatedly called for
better second language skills. Indeed foreign languages were included in Goals 2000: Educate
America Act (Goals 2000, 1994). Goals 2000 encouraged a strengthening of the standards
movement and a measurement of what every child should know and be able to do. Under the No
Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB Act) foreign languages continue to be emphasized and
are considered a core academic subject. In comments to the ACTFL Annual Convention in 2003,
Secretary of Education Rod Paige stated:
Foreign language instruction should be part of every child's education. A language is
more than sounds and syntax: it is a culture, a way of thinking, and a perspective on the
world. Each language is a precious resource that must be studied, used and preserved
precisely because a language opens the mind to new possibilities. The study of language
is the study of life, literature, history, and thought. It is nothing less than the study of our
world and ourselves. (Paige, 2003)
From a humanitarian perspective, the study of world languages is an avenue for global
understanding and, perhaps, the lessening of national security concerns through improved
communication amongst people from different cultural groups (Pratt, 2002). Appointed president
of Brown University in 2001, Ruth Simmons, the first African American to lead an Ivy League
institution, chose to study languages in the sixties as a way of overcoming racial ignorance. She
has "argued persistently in favor of language study as an essential element of any long-term
strategy for abating conflict and sustaining peace" (Simmons, 2004, p. 682). The cross-cultural
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Oxford, Raquel Malia Nitta. Effects of Technology-Enhanced Language Learning on Second Language Composition of University-Level Intermediate Spanish Students, dissertation, December 2004; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4688/m1/12/?rotate=270: accessed March 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .