Learning Each Other's Languages
The ability to communicate across language barriers is essential to international trade and to building mutual understanding among interconnected global economies.
All APEC members are faced with the issue of how to effectively prepare multi-lingual citizens who can appreciate the culture of and communicate with speakers of other languages. In many APEC member economies, foreign language has historically occupied an important place in the school curriculum. Because of the primacy of English in diplomacy and trade today, many APEC members from Eastern economies have further stressed English language education, extended this to the early elementary grades, and raised their expectations for proficiency. English speaking economies, on the other hand, find it hard to motivate their students to take a foreign language in high school and to find teachers qualified to teach a language other than English.
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