After Soviet Union stunned the world with the launch of the Sputnik in 1957, USA allocated a lot of money to education, including foreign languages study. That had kick started a lot of research and produced some new methods of language learning.
And now we are repeating that past again.
As a delayed response to September 11, USA government is planning to pump money into languages again. The languages this time are Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Persian, Hindi, and languages of Central Asia. And with progress in technology, maybe some new and exciting methods of language teaching will be developed. I know of at least one already for Arabic.
Full details is available in the briefing on this National Security Language Initiative.
On a negative note, differently from the 1958 act, only language are being spent money on now, not other sciences, so the flow-on effects will be much smaller.