Resouces: Language Advocacy


General Language Advocacy


Building a Program. List of 8 important steps when building a language program. The page is part of the Ñandutí - Foreign Language Learning PreK-8 - Web site. Updated 2006

Burns Park Foreign Language Initiative, is a non-profit organization run by parents of Burns Park students who are working to fund foreign language instruction at Burns Park Elementary School for grades K–2.

Education Matters: Learning World Languages To Prepare for College and Careers . Video. Host Bill Goodman and guests explore the importance of world language study in the global society, where fluency in other languages and familiarity with other cultures are prerequisites for success. In the face of this reality, Kentucky high schools and colleges are turning to performance-based assessments and real-world experiences to help students acquire life-long foreign language skills. Video by Kentucky Educational Television

Engaging the World. U.S. Global Competence for the 21st Century. The American Council on Education and Coalition for International Education launched a new web site, which highlights the urgent need for international and foreign language education to become part of the core mission of the U.S. education system from K-12 through graduate school. It was created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of HEA-Title VI and Fulbright-Hays with the generous support of the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

The site features two videos and 13 additional brief interviews with Title VI/Fulbright-Hays beneficiaries who are currently employing their knowledge and expertise both at home and abroad. The experts interviewed work in business, diplomacy and international peace, economic and health care development, education, and military security and peacekeeping. All videos are viewable online and downloadable.

Improving Students' Capacity in Foreign Languages. A piece on why Americans should study foreign languages by Myriam Met (Acting director of the National Foreign Language Center, University of Maryland, College Park).

Knowing Other Languages Brings Opportunities. Published by the Modern Language Association, this brochure discusses how learning an additional language can improve standardized test scores, enhance job and career prospects, and contribute to cross-cultural understanding. It lists the twelve foreign languages that are most likely to be taught at schools and universities in the US. Suggestions on when to start and how to keep up with learning a foreign language are also offered.

Language Advocacy: Making Your Voice Count. 15-minute video presentation from the JNCL-NCLIS (created by Vanessa Fontana).

Lead with Languages. Short, animated video advocating for the importance of learning other languages besides English. Rights: American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. [added: 12/10/2013]

Lexington for Elementary School Foreign Languages or Lex4Lang is a group of individuals (teachers, parents) that advocates for teaching foreign languages in elementary schools in Lexington, MA and re-instating programs that recently were cut due to funding.

Learning World Languages and Cultures in California: A Stimulus for Academic and Economic Success . A Policy Report, 2009

No Child Left Monolingual . TED Talk/ TedxUofIllinois-Chicago. Dr. Kim Potowski is Associate Professor of Spanish linguistics at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she directs the Spanish heritage language program.

Promoting a Language Proficient Society: What You Can Do. A Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) digest, the article gives information on what parents, teachers, school administrators, policy makes, and the business community can do to to support foreign language study in the US. It also provides further resources for language advocacy and a directory of resources for foreign language programs in general.

Rationale For Foreign Language Education. A Position Paper (NCSSFL). This is a position statement from the National Council of State Supervisors (NCSSFL) for Language endorsing the inclusion of foreign language education in the school curriculum for all students. It elaborates on the cognitive, academic, and societal benefits of learning a foreign language.

Why Florida Business Needs Employees with Bilingual and Intercultural Skills [PDF]. A nine-page document explaining the need for individuals with language and intercultural skills. Clicking on the link opens the PDF on the site of the Florida Foreign Language Association.

Workshop For Those Who Don't Know Their Own Power.... The advocacy website of the Joint National Committee for Languages and the National Council for Languages and International Studies (JNCL-NCLIS) presents specific information on how to lead a public advocacy workshop (handouts and additional information also provided), and on how to conduct letter-writing campaigns for language educators.



University and College Pages - Why Learn a Foreign Language?




Opinion Pieces and Newsstories


"Why this bilingual education ban should have repealed long ago", by Phillip M. Carter, March 4, 2014, CNN Head of the Class Blog.

Why it is time to learn another language", by Katie Lepi, March 1, 2014, Edudemic.

"Employers struggle to fill vacancies because of languages", by Anna Codrea-Rado, January 30, 2014, The Guardian.

"Languages are in vogue in the fashion industry", by Katie Foster, January 17, 2014, The Guardian.

"Of Arianna, languages, and cultural understanding", by Michael Elchik, October 25, 2013, The Huffington Post Blog.

"Grabbling with global learning", by Elizabeth Redden, October 7, 2013, Inside Higher Ed. Raising the issue of the role of languages in internationalization efforts on campuses. Discusses some models.

"Why it makes more sense than you know to learn a second language", by Dan Roitman, June 13, 2013, The Huffington Post. 5 reasons for why to learn a new language.

"Two languages for every child", by Andrew Cotto, May 14, 2013, The Huffington Post. A parent speaking on the value of the English/French immersion education of his daughter.

"America's foreign language deficit" , by David Skorton and Glenn Altschuler, August 27, 2012, Forbes.

"The world Has changed: foreign languages make a huge difference", by Stacie Nevadomski Berdan, February 1, 2012, The Huffington Post.

"My view: why language study should be part of your college experience", by Russell Berman, January 5, 2012, CNN Schools of Thought Blog.

"Give Foreign Language Another Chance" by Andrei Radulescu-Banu, September 28, 2011, Op/Ed in the LexingtonPatch, www.lexingtonpatch.com.

"It's Not Greek To Us. Foreign Language Instruction Should be Required" , editorial from the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Sentinel Online, November 2, 2010

"English Is Not Enough" by Catherine Porter, April 18, 2010, The Chronicle of Higher Education.

"No more cuts! Keep Foreign Languages in Schools" by Stacie Nevadomski Berdan, October 15, 2009, The Huffington Post




Websites from FL Associations





Websites Advocating for a Specific Language


All about the Arabic Language. From the American Association of Teachers of Arabic (AATA). The article traces the history of the Arabic language, explains why it is important to study it, and discusses the differences between the colloquial and standard forms, the alphabet, and the custom of greetings.

AATF Commission on Advocacy. From the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF). A very comprehensive website which offers numerous links grouped under a wide range of topics, ranging from advocacy for French language and culture, Francophone organizations, investment, to business support.

The French Language Initiative. The French Language Initiative is focused on promoting the study of French language and French-speaking cultures and increasing the number of students enrolling in French programs nationwide. It is a partnership between the Embassy of France in the U.S. and the American Association of Teachers of French.

Pro-Deutsch! Promoting Your German Program. From the Goethe Institute. Extensive advocacy binder for teachers of German in the U.S. Second revised edition, 2007, 200-some pages of various types of materials (data, arguments, activities, resource links, etc.)

Ten Reasons to Learn German. Short web page by the Goethe Institute listing 10 reasons to learn German.

Just Add German. The Goethe Institute launched a new campaign (December 2013) to show the value of electing German as another language. Just Add German has its own Web site with advocacy resources for teachers, testimonials (a section in progress), and tool kits.

Japan Foundation (Los Angeles). The Japan Foundation has an advocacy flyer and a list of publications designed to advocate Japanese language education to both administrators and parents in elementary schools.

Why Study Portuguese? Short web page by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese listing reasons to study Portuguese.

Why Study Spanish? Short web page by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese listing reasons to study Spanish.