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New report findings demonstrate that language skills are in high demand among U.S. employers across industries and functions—and that demand is expected to rise.

Making Languages Our Business: Addressing Foreign Language Demand Among U.S. Employers

"Making Languages Our Business" report copy on blue backgroundThe American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) and its Lead with Languages campaign, with the support of Pearson LLC and Language Testing International, commissioned Ipsos Public Affairs to conduct a survey of 1,200 U.S. employers, and the resulting 2019 report, Making Languages Our Business: Addressing Foreign Language Demand Among U.S. Employersindicates an urgent and growing demand for language skills in the workplace.

The report also suggests seven actionable recommendations that U.S. businesses may employ to fully leverage their employees’ language assets and to contribute to fostering a robust future multilingual workforce to better thrive in our global economy.

  • 9 out of 10 U.S. employers rely on employees with language skills other than English.
  • 56% say their foreign language demand will increase in the next 5 years.
  • 47% state a need for language skills exclusively for the domestic market.
  • 1 in 3 language-dependent U.S. employers report a language skills gap.
  • 1 in 4 U.S. employers lost business due to a lack of language skills. 

Students, parents, teachers and administrators, community members, and business leaders will find this data helpful when advocating to sustain and grow language programs at the local, state, and national level—beginning with the establishment of early language programs and continuing up through university partnerships.

"Making Languages Our Business" report copy opened to "detailed findings" pageView the Executive Summary PDF

Report highlights, an infographic of key findings, and the employer recommendations

View the Full Report PDF

The complete Executive Summary, plus detailed findings, charts, and more

See the Press Release