Why academe needs foreign languages

Rosemary G. Feal, executive director of the Modern Language Association, explains why cutting foreign language programs could hurt other fields:

It makes no sense to deprive other humanities programs of the expertise that specialists in literature, linguistics, and culture can bring. To its credit, the English department at Albany … requires students to demonstrate either reading competence in two languages other than English or advanced competence in one language (by taking a graduate course in that language or four years of undergraduate study). How will students take a graduate course conducted in another European language unless they choose to study Spanish? And what will be the effect on faculty members in other liberal-arts disciplines if they lose the benefit of colleagues with scholarly expertise in French, German, Italian, Russian, Latin, and Greek?