Teachers of all subjects at all levels can be vocal, visible supporters of language programs. Those involved in languages, of course, are the frontline supporters who are perceived as the “expert witnesses” and who have a vested interest in maintaining and expanding these programs. But all educators can provide evidence of the critical importance of languages in developing cognitive thinking, problem solving and an understanding of world cultures.
Talk to your students about why their language programs are so important. Reinforce their decision to study languages and help them see the immediate and future benefits they’ll reap from the work.
This also should be an important part of your presentation at back-to-school night events. Let parents know that it is important for them to offer support and encouragement to their students.
Make an effort to participate in local activities, from civic associations to area service clubs to school board meetings. Offer to organize student demonstrations of what the language programs are teaching, not just about languages but cultures as well.