The shifting geographical patterns of foreign language enrollments in United States colleges and universities, 1960-1998
AuthorSpindler, John Stefan
AdvisorPlane, David A.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe determinants of foreign language enrollment in U.S. colleges and universities were modeled for ten study years between 1960 and 1998. The units of analysis were at two different geographic scales: the state and EA (Economic Area) levels. Developmental characteristics, foreign language study requirements, and foreign language availability were found to be the strongest determinants of absolute foreign language popularity, measured as the percentage of all college students in a given geographic area who study a foreign language. Demographic and geographic characteristics were found to be the strongest determinants of relative foreign language popularity, or the percentage of all foreign language students enrolled in a particular foreign language. Supply-side factors were of equal importance with demand-side factors in determining absolute foreign language popularity, but demand-side factors predominated in regards to determining relative foreign language popularity. Spanish displayed a distinctive pattern of determinants, consonant with its outsize share of enrollments.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Geography and Regional Development