The importance of second-language competence in the 21st-century workplace: Perceptions of professors, teachers, college students, employment agents, and administrators

by Mbumina, Elie B., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2014, 100 pages; 3613784


Despite growing awareness of the effects of second-language competency on employability, the road to a total embracement and promotion of second languages in U.S. schools is paved with challenges. The purpose of this qualitative descriptive study was to determine the perceptions of college professors, secondary school teachers, college students, employment agency representatives, and school administrators about foreign language competence and its impact on employment opportunity in the 21stcentury workplace. Interview questionnaires were designed and distributed to 5 groups of participants who would have an interest in the study. The groups included 3 college professors, 3 secondary school teachers, 3 college students, 3 employment agency representatives, and 3 school administrators. The summary of the findings indicated there may be a direct correlation between foreign-language competence and employability. The study also confirmed that people have very positive perceptions of foreign-language competence. The recurring themes were leadership and the impact of the United States as a world leader, more marketability of job seekers, and increased literacy and learning. Based on these findings, learning institutions could create more opportunities for students to be exposed to foreign languages at an early age to promote foreign-language competence, educate students about the urgency and need for foreign-language competence, as well as emphasize the immediate and future benefits of foreign-language competence.

AdviserBonita Wilcox
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsForeign language education; Management; Sociology
Publication Number3613784

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