What Can Languages Do for You?
The ability to communicate with respect and cultural understanding in more than one language is an essential element of global competence.* This competence is developed and demonstrated by investigating the world, recognizing and weighing perspectives, acquiring and applying disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge, communicating ideas, and taking action. Global competence is fundamental to the experience of learning languages whether in classrooms, through virtual connections, or via everyday experiences. Language learning contributes an important means to communicate and interact in order to participate in multilingual communities at home and around the world. This interaction develops the disposition to explore the perspectives behind the products and practices of a culture and to value such intercultural experiences.
The Need for Global Competence:
Need in the Global Economy: Import and export data demonstrate the interconnectedness of the economies of countries across the globe; jobs increasingly depend on collaborating with clients/customers who speak other languages and contribute diverse perspectives and ideas; employers identify cultural knowledge and understanding plus communication skills in more than one language as increasingly important in their hiring.
Need in Diplomacy/Defense: The military identifies its mission balanced between defense/peace-keeping around the world and building connections with citizens in areas facing unrest or war; training of service personnel includes cultural sensitivity, understanding of diverse perspectives, and strategies for communicating with local populations speaking other languages.
Need in Global Problem-solving: Issues related to the environment, health, and innovation require collaboration across borders; creative solutions are more likely to occur when knowledge and unique perspectives and insights are shared.
Need in Diverse Communities: Opportunities to interact with people who speak other languages and who have different cultural practices, products, and perspectives are increasing in each community; heritage communities are supported when their languages and cultures are valued rather than eliminated.
Need in Personal Growth and Development: Global competence – the ability to interact and communicate with people from other cultures – opens doors to new relationships, knowledge, and experiences.
Describing Global Competence:
Means to Achieve Global Competence:
- See more at: http://www.actfl.org/news/position-statements/global-competence-position-statement#sthash.JrBpZoUx.dpuf