A study out from Northern Illinois University suggests that region is going to need a vast number of college graduates who can speak more than one language. In the northern Illinois region, half of all employers say within the next five years they'll hire bilingual employees, while a third say they're doing it right now. James Cohen is an assistant professor of ESL and bilingual education, and says that should tell you how smart the business community is. "They see that we have immigrants. They don't necessarily buy into ideology; they buy into facts. They buy into numbers," says Cohen. "They see that if you have multiple languages spoken by your employees, they are going to interact with exponentially more number of people out there."
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Cohen teaches English as a Second Language at the DeKalb school, and says while it's unfortunate the U-S keeps pushing an English-only culture, it doesn't mean that language is losing out. "Immigrants are learning English at a much faster rate than ever before in the history of immigration in the United States. So that's not an issue," says Cohen. "One way to counteract that ideology, or that belief system, is to actually have what's called dual-language programs in the schools. Cohen says that's happening significantly more now than it was just 20 years ago. The survey finds that Spanish is the most in need second language, followed by Polish and Mandarin Chinese.