Advocacy For World Language Education
Use our most recent newsletter as a guide to advocate for world languages.
See what’s happening and get involved!
FLENJ’s mission is to promote excellence in world language education by advancing policy and practice. FLENJ actively advocates at local, state, and national levels to promote policies that will foster language learning. However, when it comes to advocacy, everyone must play a role in supporting world language education in both public and private institutions, Pre-K–16 and beyond.
In order to assist all constituency groups in their efforts to advocate for world language education, FLENJ has brought in advocacy materials from numerous sources specific to individual needs. In particular, we have included many resources from the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). Please visit the links below to learn how you can advocate for world language education in New Jersey!
Advocacy Resources for …
Click on the links below for more information.
Don’t Reinvent the Wheel! There are many resources already available to you, so that you do not have to start your advocacy work from scratch:
- Stand Up for World Languages; Stand Up for Kids! These free downloadable postcards from the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) are appropriate for sending to district administrators, parents, and policy makers.
- Why, How, and When Should My Child Learn a Second Language? Download this free brochure from the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) in Washington.
- Ideas for young children to share aspects of their language, heritage and culture within the classroom and in the wider school community, from the National Centre for Languages’ Primary Languages website.
- Ideas and free resources for advocacy from the “Discover Languages” webpage of ACTFL.
- Promoting a Language Proficient Society: What You Can Do. This article by Kathleen M. Marcos and Joy Kreeft Peyton of the ERIC Clearinghouse on Languages and Linguistics has many good ideas.
- Why Learn Another Language? Knowing Other Languages Brings Opportunities. This brochure, from the Modern Language Association (MLA) and the Association of Departments of Foreign Languages (ADFL), is directed primarily to high school students. It is intended for distribution by faculty members, advisers, and career officers in secondary schools. It may be reproduced without permission.
- Network of Business Language Educators – their advocacy page provides excellent video resources that can be used in various environments.
Back Up Your Advocacy Efforts with Up-to-Date Research!
- The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) has a RESEARCH page that gives you lots of pertinent information as you try to share with others about the importance of world language education:
- View videos from Language Learning in the 21st Century – Innovative Language Classroom on the Hill, a policy briefing and classroom demonstration hosted by ACTFL and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills on March 29, 2011.
- The National Council of State Supervisors for Languages (NCSSFL) provides the following position paper, A Rationale For Foreign Language Education.
- Myriam Met, a familiar speaker at FLENJ events and workshops nationwide, has written: Improving Students’ Capacity in Foreign Languages, which contains many good arguments you can use in your advocacy.
- CALPER, the Center for Advanced Language Proficiency Education and Research at Penn State, has compiled a list of resources to help with advocacy.
Communicate with State and National Policymakers
Click here to find the person in the U.S. House of Representatives who represents you, and email her/him about world language.
Click here to reach your U.S. Senators, to email them about the amazing things you are accomplishing in your world language program.
Click here to find the people in the New Jersey Legislature—both in the Senate and in the Assembly—who represent you. Make your voice heard in favor of world language education.
The New Jersey State Board of Education
This board holds monthly meetings at the Department of Education, 100 River View Plaza, Trenton, NJ 08625-0500. Teachers, students, administrators, and parents are encouraged to register to testify in favor of world language programs.
If you would like to subscribe to an emailing list to learn of the New Jersey Board of Education’s activities and of opportunities to send letters testifying for world language, click here.
FLENJ Advocacy Efforts on Your Behalf
Amanda Seewald is FLENJ’s Advocacy Representative. She is also “our woman in Washington” – she represents FLENJ on the Board of Directors of the Joint National Committee on Language (JNCL). With other FLENJ Board members, Amanda travels to Washington, DC every year to meet with New Jersey legislators. Listen to her introductory guidance on Advocacy. She will provide regular updates to the membership on Advocacy.
Advocacy News Report – FLENJ, September 2016
Advocacy News Report – FLENJ -2016
Advocacy News Report – FLENJ/JNCL-NCLIS – 2014
Advocacy News You Can Use
- New Jersey Legislators Lead the Way! Senator Frank Lautenberg and Representative Rush Holt introduced the Foreign Language Education Partnership Program Act
- Advocacy is a Lifelong Endeavor! FLENJ’s Amanda Seewald interviewed J. David Edwards, former Director of the Joint National Committee on Language
- Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta recently wrote about the importance of language expertise to our national security.
Get Inspired with Global Competence Videos
These videos from the Coalition for International Education, the American Council on Education, and the Network of Business Language Educators show the enormous benefits of language education programs. They demonstrate why U.S. global competence is essential in our interconnected world of the 21st century.
This video, “Are We Prepared for Jobs of the Future????” is brief (just above 3 minutes) and would be a great introduction to the subject of global competence.
The inspiring video, Engaging the World, may be appropriate for PTA/PTO presentations or other educational venues.
The video A 21st Century Imperative makes the case that U.S. global competence in the 21st century is not a luxury, but a necessity for our society.
Join FLENJ! Unite with other World Language Teachers
It is important to network and keep informed about advocacy. Other teachers whom you will meet through FLENJ will be able to offer you suggestions and information. In addition, regular FLENJ president’s messages will address current advocacy initiatives.