The book was publishe din November 2023 by Springer. Direct link: Language Program Vitality in the United States

Editors: Emily Heidrich Uebel (Michigan State University), Felix Kronenberg (Michigan State University), Scott Sterling (Indiana State University) 

Publisher/Series: The volume is part of the Springer for the Educational Linguistics book series.


This book documents and addresses root causes of declining enrollments seen in language programs at U.S. institutions of higher education over previous decades. It identifies obstacles created by programs and institutions that prevent students from either initially exploring or continuing with language study, challenges long-held beliefs about language program structures, as well as promotes opportunities for language programs to address these obstacles and innovate in the field.  

This publication reflects a wide range of opinions and diversity of authors that reflect the broad roles that our readers will encompass. 

Who is this book for? (Target Audience) 

This book can be used by foreign language faculty to reflect on their own programs and university trajectory. It is also for those faculty, language program directors, chairs, university administrators, and graduate students to understand issues and trends facing the field and possible solutions that they may explore. The data provided in this book provides launching point for discussions at a variety of institutions as they adapt to new challenges in the field. Both those “in the trenches” and those who have broader decision-making power about language programs and policies at the university can use this as a reference. 

What is the structure of the book? 

This volume has three overarching themes: 1) “Setting the Scene,” 2) “Student Voices,” and 3) “Solutions to Thrive,” which features innovative ways to increase language program vitality. 


The volume begins by “Setting the Scene” (Section 1), with contributions from authors analyzing Modern Language Association language enrollment data.

In “Student Voices” (Section 2), authors call attention to student perspectives and voices regarding world language education, including qualitative and quantitative data from both large-scale studies and smaller case-studies.

The remainder of the volume are parts of the theme “Solutions to Thrive,” which includes innovative ways to increase language program vitality. There are four topics within “Solutions to Thrive” (parts 3-6 of the book), each featuring a variety of initiatives and strategies implemented in institutions of varying size and location across the United States. 


  1. Starting Your Path From Surviving to Thriving Language Programs
    • Emily Heidrich Uebel, Felix A. Kronenberg, and Scott Sterling

Theme I     Setting the Scene

  1. MLA Language Enrollment Trends
    • Natalia Lusin
  2. Beyond the Crisis: Tools for Analyzing Historical Enrollments in Languages other than English
    • Lidia Tripiccione
  3. The Increasing Diversity of World Language Study in the United States, 1958-2016
    • Fedor Karmanov
  4. World Language Enrollment at Community Colleges in the United States between 1960 and 2010
    • Tomonori Nagano

Theme II    Student Voices

  1. Amplifying Student Voices: US. Undergraduate Student Perspectives on Expanding Access and Increasing the Relevance of Courses in Languages Other Than English
    • Dianna Murphy and Jana Martin
  2. Understanding Student (A)motivation Towards Learning a Language: Students’ Perspectives on Continued Language Study
    • Melanie L. D’Amico and Scott Sterling
  3. Why Doesn’t Everyone Take a World Language Class? University Students’ Perspectives on World Language Learning
    • Bret Linford
  4. Motivational Factors Affecting Language Student Enrollment and Retention in Higher Education
    • Sibel Crum and Piibi-Kai Kivik
  5. Preparing for the Future: What Do High School Students Think About Language Learning? 
    • Russell Simonsen
  6. University Students’ Beliefs About the Language Requirement: Policy as Articulated and as Perceived
    • Carlo Cinaglia
  7. Leveraging Student Surveys to Promote Recruitment and Retention
    • LeAnne L. Spino
  8. Portuguese Language Program Evaluation
    • Bruna Sommer-Farias and Ana M. Carvalho

Theme III Solutions to Thrive

Part 3: Planned and Imagined Initiatives

  1. Uniting on all Levels
    • Jane Sokolosky 
  2. It Takes a Village: A Planned Initiative Toward Language Program Revitalization
    • Rebecca S. Borden and Daniel M. Anderson
  3. Professional Content-Based Courses for Novice Language Learning
    • Joseph Fee
  4. Community-Engagement as an Innovative Way to Revitalize Language Programs
    • Sandie Blaise

Part 4: Adjustments to Curriculum/Tried Initiatives

  1. Expanding Access through Online Asynchronous Language Courses
    • Justin Court, Karolina May-Chu, Jason Williamson, and Jonathan Wipplinger
  2. A Multilanguage Seminar for the Twenty-First Century: Rethinking Self-Instruction for the Least Commonly Taught Languages
    • Katrina Daly Thompson and Adeola Agoke
  3. Leveraging Language for Specific Purposes as a Motivating Factor for World Language Study
    • Zachary F. Miller, John D. Benjamin, Carlotta Chenoweth, and Sherry A. Maggin
  4. Contributing Factors and Achievable Solutions to the World Language Enrollment Downturn: A Midwestern Case Study
    • Elizabeth Langley
  5. A Revamped Major: Reimagining the Role of Languages at a Business University
    • Christian Rubio
  6. Staying Afloat: Attracting Hebrew Language Students with Collaboration and the Use of Content Based Instruction
    • Adi Raz
  7. Innovative Strategies for Stabilizing Enrollment in Korean as a Foreign Language (KFL) Education
    • Young-mee Yu Cho and Hee Chung Chun       
  8. Trial, Error, and Success: Recruitment and Retention Initiatives in a Small German Program
    • Kristin Lange and Scott Windham
  9. Centers of Change: Forming Administrative Structures to Support Language Study
    • Cory Duclos and Yukari Hirata
  10. Language as a Bridge to Other Disciplines
    • Deborah S. Reisinger
  11. Language Programs at Rochester Institute of Technology: A Successful Recent Initiative (2018‐Present)
    • Sara Armengot

Part 5: Recruitment

  1. The Seal of Biliteracy as a Recruitment Opportunity
    • Janet Eckerson and Christopher Jacobs          
  2. The Language Placement Brief: Showcasing Language Learning Opportunities
    • Sherry A. Maggin, John C. Baskerville, John D. Benjamin, and John M. Pendergast
  3. Internationalize Your Major: Embracing the Supportive Role of Language Study
    • Laura Edwards and Juliet Lynd

Part 6             Credentials

  1. Changing the Narrative Around Language Study
    • Rebecca J. Ulland
  2. Retaining Students with Shared Courses and Meaningful Credentials
    • Lauren Rosen, Kaishan Kong, and Hongying Xu
  3. The Language Certificate: Encouraging Foreign Language Proficiency for All University Students
    • Troy L. Cox, Matthew P. Wilcox, and Ray Clifford
  4. Global Honors: Responding to 21st Century Language Learners’ Real-World Goals
    • Catherine Baumann, Ahmet Dursun, and Lidwina van den Hout


  1. You Have Reached the End: Now the Work Begins
    • Emily Heidrich Uebel, Felix A. Kronenberg, Scott Sterling