May 27, 2022

New Report, Data From Modern Language Association (MLA) Documents Trends in Language Study

From the Modern Language Association:

The MLA has just released its full report on language course enrollments in colleges and universities in the United States. Based on a comprehensive census of 2,547 institutions, Enrollments in Languages Other Than English in United States Institutions of Higher Education, Summer 2016 and Fall 2016: Final Report documents changes in enrollments in the fifteen most-studied languages as well as trends for less commonly studied languages.

The report finds that while enrollments in languages other than English declined by 9.2% between fall 2013 and fall 2016, enrollments increased or remained stable in 45.5% of language programs. To understand how some programs remain strong despite local and national challenges, the report highlights programs that have maintained robust enrollments by implementing innovative curricula. As the report’s executive summary concludes, “[c]learly, investments are needed in language education, and this report includes case studies of successful programs on which change can be modeled.”


2016 Final Report

2016 Preliminary Report

Language Enrollment Database, 1958–2016

Census Instrument

Also Available: Previous Reports and Institution Information

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.