National Security Language Initiative

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The National Security Language Initiative is a program introduced by United States President George W. Bush on January 5, 2006 at the U.S. University President's Summit to develop the foreign language skills of American students, especially in "critical-need" foreign languages such as Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Hindi, and Persian. The initiative was given $114 million in fiscal year 2007 and $26.6 million in 2008 to expand programs from kindergarten level to universities.[1][2]

Scope of the program[edit]

The initiative is coordinated by the State Department, Education Department, Defense Department and the Director of National Intelligence.[3]

The National Security Language Initiative has three broad goals: expand the number of Americans mastering critical need languages and start at a younger age, increase the number of advanced-level speakers of foreign languages, increase the number of foreign language teachers and the resources for them.[1]


Several college leaders have expressed concern about how large of a role the Pentagon is playing in the initiative and, after the program was announced, the lack of details. [4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Powell, Dina (2006), National Security Language Initiative, archived from the original on March 6, 2008, retrieved 2008-03-06 
  2. ^ Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (2008), National Security Language Initiative (NSLI), archived from the original on September 29, 2008, retrieved 2008-09-29 
  3. ^ United States Department of Education (2008), National Security Language Initiative (NSLI) - About, retrieved 2011-06-23 
  4. ^ Capriccioso, Rob; Epstein, David (2006), "Bush Push on 'Critical' Foreign Languages", Inside Higher Ed, retrieved 2011-06-23