Language in a global world: A case study of foreign languages in U.S. K–8 education

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7 Scopus citations


Over the past decade, there have been numerous calls to update U.S. education to reflect an increasingly global world (Hull & Hellmich, 2018). Foreign languages (FLs) are often perceived as central to these efforts (American Academy of Arts & Sciences, 2017). Despite this centrality, less is known about how FLs are understood in U.S. K–12 education today, particularly at the individual and school levels. Using an ecological theoretical frame and a case study research design, this article focused on one K–8 immersion school and examined (1) the discourses that teachers, administrators, parents, and students used to understand FLs in education; (2) how their understandings impacted the learning environment; and (3) how local beliefs and behaviors aligned with larger societal philosophies and practices. Findings revealed areas of both alignment and divergence from previous literature and highlight the complex understandings that are used to position and guide FL education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-330
Number of pages18
JournalForeign Language Annals
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018


  • all languages
  • case study
  • internationalization of curriculum
  • value of language learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language


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