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Most Studied Foreign Languages in the U.S.

While Spanish and French continue to be the top two languages studied in the U.S, total language enrollment decreased by 6.7% between 2009 and 2013. Among the top ten languages, only the study of American Sign Language and Chinese showed positive growth in the same time period.

Language Fall 2013
enrollments
% change
from 2009
Fall 2009
enrollments
% change
from 2006
Fall 2006
enrollments
% change
from 2002
 
 1. Spanish 790,756 -8.2% 864,986 5.1% 822,985  10.3%  
 2. French 197,757 -8.1 216,419 4.8 206,426   2.2  
 3. American Sign Language 109,577 19.0 96,349 2.2 94,264   3.5  
 4. German 86,700 -9.3 91,763 16.4 78,829  29.7  
 5. Italian 71,285 -11.3 80,752 3.0 78,368  22.6  
 6. Japanese 66,740 -7.8 73,434 10.3 66,605  27.5  
 7. Chinese 61,055 2.0 60,976 18.2 51,582  51.0  
 8. Arabic 32,286 -7.5 35,083 46.3 23,974  126.5  
 9. Latin 27,192 -16.2 32,606 1.3 32,191  7.9   
10. Russian 21,962 -17.9 26,883 8.2 24,845 3.9  

Source: The Modern Language Association of America.

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