A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

``SEC. 7202. FINDINGS.

``The Congress finds as follows:
``(1) Foreign language proficiency is crucial to our Nation's economic competitiveness and national security. Significant improvement in the quantity and quality of foreign language instruction offered in our Nation's elementary and secondary schools is necessary.
``(2) All Americans need a global perspective. To understand the world around us, we must acquaint ourselves with the languages, cultures, and history of other nations.
``(3) Proficiency in two or more languages should be promoted for all American students. Multilingualism enhances cognitive and social growth, competitiveness in the global marketplace, national security, and understanding of diverse people and cultures.
``(4) The United States lags behind other developed countries in offering foreign language study to elementary and secondary school students.
``(5) Four out of five new jobs in the United States are created from foreign trade.
``(6) The optimum time to begin learning a second language is in elementary school, when children have the ability to learn and excel in several foreign language acquisition skills, including pronunciation, and when children are most open to appreciating and valuing a culture other than their own.
``(7) Foreign language study can increase childrens' capacity for critical and creative thinking skills and children who study a second language show greater cognitive development in areas such as mental flexibility, creativity, tolerance, and higher order thinking skills.
``(8) Children who have studied a foreign language in elementary school achieve expected gains and score higher on standardized tests of reading, language arts, and mathematics than children who have not studied a foreign language.