Exploring the US Language Flagship Program

Exploring the US Language Flagship Program

Professional Competence in a Second Language by Graduation

Dianna Murphy, Karen Evans-Romaine


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A number of reports in the US have highlighted the country’s need for improved second language skills for both national security and economic competitiveness. The Language Flagship program, launched in 2002, aims to raise expectations regarding language proficiency levels at the post-secondary level and to address structural gaps in the curricula of many L2 programs. This federally funded program provides opportunities for US undergraduate students in any specialization to reach a professional level of competence in a targeted second language by graduation. This volume highlights innovative practices that enable students to achieve this goal – even those with no exposure to the second language prior to university. This book explores the rationale and history of the federal program and showcases models and strategies of existing Flagship programs.


Dianna Murphy:
Dianna Murphy is Associate Director of the Language Institute and Russian Flagship Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research interests are in foreign language education at the postsecondary level, with a focus on students’ goals and perspectives on their foreign language learning.

Karen Evans-Romaine is Professor of Russian in the Department of German, Nordic, and Slavic and Director of the Russian Flagship Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research interests include Russian language pedagogy and early 20th-century Russian literature, particularly intersections of music and literature.