A libertarian for language learning
I shouldn’t be trusted about whether colleges should have language requirements. Studying languages and cultures changed the way I personally see the world so much that I can’t take the anti-language-study case seriously. And then, I have no reason to think that I can ignore self-interest better than people in other fields.
So I was glad to see Tyler Cowen arguing in favor of language study, contra Bryan Caplan. It reminded me of Cowen arguing, also in response to Caplan, that culture matters in ways that aren’t captured by looking at the adult incomes of separated twins.
I think Cowen is clearly right that there should be more language instruction in elementary school. I also think it’s a mistake to think that only people who become “fluent” benefit from learning a language.