Russian Language Journal


language, Americans, foreign, households


As a result of the projects undertaken by the University of Maryland’s Center for the Advanced Study of Language, several new findings and insights have emerged from the highest quality data collections on Americans’ abilities in and attitudes toward foreign languages (FL). These involve the (now annual) language surveys conducted by the US Census Bureau and the bi-­‐‑annual General Social Survey (GSS) conducted by the University of Chicago since 1972. The Census Bureau has been documenting foreign languages spoken at home and how well individuals can speak English in such households. The 2000-­‐‑08 GSS has assessed whether adults can speak a foreign language and how well they can speak it, along with their attitudes on various language policy issues, with over 70% response rates.