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position statements

In developing new federal legislation and/or revising existing legislation, the ACTFL Board of Directors endorses the following initiatives as priorities for the foreign language profession in order to build the nation’s language capacity

ACTFL and its members are committed to developing and maintaining a teaching and learning environment that reflects the broad diversity of American society. We welcome teachers and students from diverse cultural, linguistic, and socio-economic backgrounds to language programs.  We believe that all children should have the opportunity to learn other languages and support full access for all students to language programs.  In this effort, ACTFL and its member organizations

Recent studies indicate a current and prospective shortage of language teachers. The recruitment and retention of a highly qualified teaching force is essential.  Recognizing the reported 50% attrition rate of teachers new to the profession, we support high quality professional development for experienced teachers and mentoring services for new teachers. 

As part of its mission and vision, the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) provides guidance to the profession and to the general public regarding issues, policies, and best practices related to the teaching and learning of languages and cultures.  ACTFL is a leading national voice among language educators and administrators and is guided by a responsibility to set standards and expectations that will result in high quality language programs. 

Since research shows that an early language learning experience generally results in the development of native or near-native pronunciation and intonation, ACTFL recommends that students be provided the opportunity to learn a second language as early as possible in school.

ACTFL believes that the opportunity to learn any second language is more important than the specific language that is learned since research shows that generally learning a third or fourth language is facilitated after learning a second. 

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