The United States is a global leader in education, as evidenced by the steady increase in international applications to American colleges and universities. Research from the Institute of International Education shows a 10 percent increase of international students studying in the U.S. during the 2014/2015 school year for a total of nearly 1 million scholars. Chinese students make up the largest group of international students, though there is a growing number coming from India.
Globalization has forever changed the world of business and academia. Every year, thousands of conferences are held, and many of these conferences have a truly global audience, with attendees and speakers from a wide variety of cultural and linguistic backgrounds.
Conveying your message to a multi-lingual audience requires skill and planning.
How Globalization Spurs the Need for New Language Competencies
The article "The Impact of Globalization on Communication Skills Development" observes: "Communication skills development has always been an important factor of success in business, but the influence of globalization and cross-cultural interaction in recent decades has impacted the types of communication skills needed in dramatic ways. No longer can entrepreneurs afford to simply communicate well within their own homogeneous cultures. Today, people need to understand the dynamics of long-distance collaboration, the impact of culture on manners of speaking and body language, and how to use technology to communicate with people on the other side of the globe."
As businesses and universities engage with an ever-widening range of cultures and languages, it is increasingly clear that language interpretation is a service in high demand. Businesses and Universities wishing to adequately reach their entire global audience must accommodate cultural and linguistic differences in order to be effective and successful.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, at least 350 languages other than English are spoken in homes in the United States. Metropolitan areas have the largest populations of non-English or limited English speakers. For instance, the Bureau reports that in the Seattle Metro area, at least 166 languages are spoken at home, and 22 percent of the metro area population over the age of five speaks a language other than English at home.
U.S. public school systems are increasingly diverse.
Compliance and Language Support in Schools
This is of significant concern for school districts around the country. As the prevalence of non-English speakers or limited English speakers continues to rise, school districts receiving federal funding are required to accommodate the language needs of an increasingly diverse population.
Ensuring that your school district is compliant with federal regulations regarding language support services and that the needs of students and parents are being met requires attention to several matters. School districts must:
• understand the legal definition of "LEP" students and parents
• understand the legal requirements for addressing the needs of LEP parents and students
• identify those students and parents in need of language support within the school district
• assess the level of need and the ability of the school district to handle the need either in-house or through outsourcing