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The Initiative

What is the Discover Languages® Initiative Designed to Accomplish?

The need to ambitiously promote the value of language learning is clear. Such learning offers social, cultural, academic and workplace benefits that will serve students all their lives. Americans live and compete in a world of diverse cultures and races – a world where competence in more than one language is essential to communicating and understanding.

Every day, American organizations and individuals conduct business with (and within) countries around the world. We rely on their citizens to be consumers of U.S. goods and services. Each day, the U.S. welcomes new citizens who come from many nations. In order to live, work and play together, we all must understand each other’s cultural and social backgrounds. The ability to communicate with and learn from people who do not speak English is the key to becoming a world citizen.

Language learning promotes cognitive, analytical and communication skills that carry over into virtually every academic, career and life skill area. The smartest American businesses understand that by investing in world language education programs today, they are ensuring great dividends in the future. The demand for proficient multilingual employees, both at home and abroad, is opening the door to broader options and career opportunities.

The Discover Languages...Discover the World! campaign is designed to:

  • Launch media attention and public awareness
  • Promote and help develop a national policy on foreign language education
  • Underscore the benefits and importance of language learning
  • Encourage and support research on all aspects of language learning
  • Help establish scholarships for future language educators
  • Promote curriculum change by collaborating with national, state and local educators, and government leaders
  • Focus on recruiting and retaining highly qualified language teaching force
  • Build professional unity on national language issues
  • Unite various constituencies to encourage advocacy

Discover Languages activities are conducted throughout the year. However, particular focus is paid during the month of February which is Discover Languages month. In addition to promoting Discover Languages...Discover the World! to national general interest and education media outlets, ACTFL offers tools and information to help teachers, students and parents promote the value of language learning.

The success and long-term impact of Discover Languages...Discover the World! relies upon the active support of language teachers and school administrators from all backgrounds and instruction levels, because they have daily access to the students, parents and community members for whom this effort is designed. ACTFL welcomes all language educators, regardless of membership status, to fully participate in this campaign.

ACTFL also welcomes support and sponsorship from organizations that have the most to gain: Companies, businesses and government organizations that will need multi-lingual employees whose communication skills and multi-cultural understanding will ensure success in the global economy.

Every American student deserves to experience the life-long cognitive, academic, social, cultural and economic benefits that language learning provides. Working together, we can help our students Discover Languages...Discover the World!