Muslim World Isn't Big With U.S. Students


WASHINGTON — Despite an expansion of federal efforts to promote learning Arabic and other languages of the Islamic world, there has been no dramatic increase in Americans studying in countries where such languages are spoken, according to the latest statistics on overseas study. That's the case even though the number of Americans studying abroad has more than doubled since the mid-1990s. There are some signs of growing interest among American students in learning Arabic, which the U.S. intelligence community hopes will help bolster its ranks with specialists for the war on terrorism. But as Karin Ryding, a professor of Arabic at Georgetown University, points out, U.S. intelligence can't get by with "hothouse" Arabic speakers who have learned the language sitting in American classrooms. They must travel to the region and immerse themselves to become fluent. (MORE)

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