New MLA Survey Shows Significant Increases in Foreign Language Study at U.S. Colleges and Universities. (13 November 2007)Enrollments in Languages Other Than English in United States Institutions of Higher Education, FAll 2006. By Nelly Furman, David Goldberg, and Natalie Lusin. Web publication, 13 November 2007. Modern Language Association.

Interest in language study at American colleges and universities has increased broadly and significantly since 2002, according to a comprehensive new survey, Enrollments in Languages Other Than English in United States Institutions of Higher Education, Fall 2006, released today by the Modern Language Association of America (MLA) and funded by the United States Department of Education.

Interest in language study has been increasing steadily since 1998. While the study of the most popular languages, Spanish, French, and German, continues to grow and together represents more than 70% of language enrollments, their dominance is slowly decreasing in the face of growing interest in languages such as Arabic (up 127%), Chinese (up 51%), and Korean (up 37%). … [Press release (pdf, 84 kb)]

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Note: The enrollment statistics from MLA are organized into three different and very useful categories at their website, Enrollments in Languages Other Than English in United States Institutions of Higher Education, FAll 2006:

  1. Fall 2006 Language Enrollments: Organized by Language, State, and Institution
  2. Fall 2006 Language Enrollments: Organized by State, Language, and Institution
  3. Fall 2006 Language Enrollments: Organized by State, Institution, and Language

If you click on each of those links at their website, you get a listing of PDF files for each subcategory within those three main categories. Of most interest to Chinese language teachers and administrators is likely the PDF file for Fall 2006 Enrollments in Chinese, by State (and Institution) (pdf file).- – – – – –

Side Note: MLA Language Map: A Map of Languages in the United States — While you are at the MLA website, take a look at their language map. It is an interactive map that uses data from the federal government’s 2000 census to display the locations and numbers of speakers of thirty-three languages and language groups spoken in the U.S., including Chinese.

The statistics below were compiled on 18 February 2005 by Dr. Scott McGinnis.

  1. According to the fall, 2002 survey of foreign language enrollments in US institutions of higher education, conducted by the Modern Language Association (MLA), Chinese, at 34,153 students enrolled nationwide, was in 2002 the seventh most commonly studied language in American colleges and universities, increasing 20% since the last MLA survey in 1998. See
  2. At the high school level, “A Report on 2001-2002 Chinese Enrollments at the Pre-collegiate Level” by the Secondary School Chinese Language Center (SSCLC) at Princeton University; January 26, 2002, reported the following statistics for that final year of their previously (1995-2002) annual survey: 203 schools in 31 states offered Chinese language classes, with a total student enrollment of 23,900 (12,660 in grades nine to twelve; 3579 in grades seven and eight; and 7661 in kindergarten through sixth grade). SSCLC has not conducted the survey since 2001-2002.
  3. The Chinese Language Association for Secondary-Elementary Schools (CLASS) conducted a survey largely based upon their membership (which does not include all teachers of Chinese at the K-12 level) in 2003-04. 163 schools responded, and reported a total enrollment of 16,091 students. To contact CLASS, see
  4. According to the website of the National Council of Associations of Chinese Language Schools (NCACLS), current student enrollment in NCACLS-affiliated Chinese community schools is estimated to be around 100,000 as of early 2005. NCACLS schools have primary connections with the Taiwan immigrant and heritage communities in the United States. Further information about NCACLS may be found at their website of
  5. The Chinese School Association in the United States (CSAUS), which has primary connections with the mainland Chinese immigrant and heritage communities, reports student enrollment of approximately 60,000 as of early 2005. Further information about CSAUS may be found at their website of