Cosmopolitanism and Multilingualism in a Globalized World: Perspectives on the Lack of Foreign Language Learning in the US


  • Kathleen Stein-Smith Fairleigh Dickinson University, Metropolitan Campus



multilingualism, cosmopolitanism, global identity, global citizenship, language learning


Although cosmopolitanism has a long history, it has become even more relevant in the global era and, especially, since the COVID-19 global pandemic has made communication and understanding across cultures more important than ever. Multilingualism is the essential cosmopolitan skill and tool, empowering those who are proficient in one or more additional languages to understand, and to communicate and interact with others more effectively. The United States suffers from a foreign language deficit, and there is an urgent need to build both motivation and interest in other languages along with sustainable skills in other languages in the US. Steps to effectively address this deficit include prioritizing language learning and use, and providing the opportunity to all interested students to learn one or more additional languages.


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