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Making Languages Our Business

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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.

An Urgent Call for Multilingual Talent

With the support of Pearson LLC and Language Testing International, ACTFL commissioned Ipsos Public Affairs to conduct a survey of 1,200 U.S. employers to determine the current demand for language skills in the workplace. The resulting 2019 report, Making Languages Our Business: Addressing Foreign Language Demand Among U.S. Employers, indicates an urgent and growing demand for language skills across sectors.

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.

Key Findings Include

9 out of 10 U.S. employers rely on employees with language skills other than English.

56% say their 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 levels—beginning with the establishment of early language programs and continuing up through university partnerships.

Read Making Languages Our Business

View 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.

Visit the Media Kit

Download graphics illustrating key figures for use on a variety of digital platforms.

Do you know a former student, friend, colleague, or another individual who regularly employs language and cultural skills in their work and/or career?

Refer them to us for consideration to be featured in our Professional Profiles series on the LCF blog, where we're shining a spotlight on how languages are an asset in the workforce.