Foreign Language Learning in Salt Lake City, Utah

Wondering where to learn a new language? Where to start your language learning journey? Or Where will your children will get the best opportunities?

Where in the USA is language learning emphasized? While the USA coastal states are often viewed as the most cosmopolitan, there is one location for language learning that may surprise you. It’s deeply interior and high above sea level.

In these days of remote work and distance learning, it’s sometimes hard to know where to land physically, in one’s language learning journey. One small piece of evidence comes from looking at the percentage of school children (in grades K-16) who are learning a foreign language in various locations.

The data in the following maps comes from the National K-16 Foreign Language Enrollment Survey Report published in March 2017.

Due to limitations in resources for the survey, it doesn’t include enrollment in heritage, community-based, after-school, weekend, and summer programs which provide a significant amount of training for languages such as Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), Korean, and Russian.

Still, the data will be useful to get an overall picture of foreign language enrollment in the formal K-16 education system.

In total, approximately 20% of the school-aged population are enrolled in foreign language classes.

New Jersey is a Popular Place to Study Foreign Languages

New Jersey, on the east coast of the USA, is the state with the highest percentage of students enrolled in a foreign language at 51.18% while New Mexico has the lowest enrollment rate at 8.5%.


Where are Students Learning the spanish Language?

Spanish is by far the most taught foreign language in the US education system with approximately 13.44% of the national K-12 school-aged population enrolled in Spanish classes.

Washington DC leads the nation with 36.65% of students taking Spanish lessons, followed by Delaware at 24.39%. On the other end of the spectrum, Arkansas has the lowest rate of Spanish instruction with a rate of 7.43%.


Vermont Has the Greatest Rate of Students Learning the French Language

French is the second most prominent foreign language taught in the formal education system with a total of 2.59% of the nation’s students enrolled in French classes.

Vermont has the highest rate of French enrollment at 7.74% followed by Washington DC at 5.76%. Arkansas and Oklahoma are the two states with the lowest rates with 1.01%  and 1.06% respectively.


For German Language Learning, Wisconsin Is Tops

German is studied by approximately 0.68% of K-12 students.

Wisconsin leads the nation with 2.76% of school-aged students enrolled in German classes followed by South Dakota with a rate of 2.25%. Washington DC (0.02%) has the lowest rate in the nation while Rhode Island (0.05%) has the second-lowest rate


Washington DC, Delaware and Utah Are where the Most Students Learn Chinese

Both Mandarin and Cantonese are included in the statistics for Chinese language enrollment. Together, approximately 0.46% of the K-12 school-aged population is enrolled.

Washington DC leads the nation with an enrollment rate of 2.59% followed by Delaware at 1.14%. Rhode Island (0.02%) and Louisiana (0.09%) have the lowest rates in the country.


Utah is Where the Most Learn Japanese Language

Japanese is studied by approximately 0.15% of the school-aged population in the United States.

Utah (1.3%) and Wyoming (0.66%) are the states with the highest Japanese language enrollment percentage. Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana all have enrollment rates under 0.02%.


Utah is also #1 for Arabic Language Learning

Approximately 0.08% of the K-12 school-aged population are enrolled in formal Arabic classes.

Utah (0.84%) and Washington DC (0.77%) lead the nation. Nevada, Alaska, Wisconsin, Arkansas, and Florida each have an enrollment rate below 0.003%.

See our in-depth article about how to learn Arabic online. And check our recommendation for best app to learn Arabic.


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Where is Utah? And Why Can You Learn Different Languages Well There?

 Utah, in the heart of the scenic Mountain States ranks high in terms of the number of students taking foreign language classes.  For example, it’s no secret that most Asians have settled in the coastal states, yet Utah leads the nation in per-capita Asian language learning. Great skiing, hiking, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, hang gliding, bouldering and rock climbing ….