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Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) encourages members with shared interests to network and share information within the larger structure of ACTFL. To facilitate these activities, ACTFL has established Special Interest Groups (SIGs) to provide continuous networking and information sharing on a specific topic or area of interest to a subset of ACTFL’s overall membership. SIGs operate under the aegis of ACTFL and are a vital component of ACTFL's member service activities.

SIGs operate year-round through the ACTFL community, newsletters, webinars, and sessions at the ACTFL Annual Convention & World Languages Expo. The Basic membership level includes one free SIG, membership levels of Plus and above include two free SIGs. Each SIG after the allotted free amount is $5 per year.

Adding/Changing SIGs:

When joining ACTFL or renewing your membership, you will have the option to select your Special Interest Group (SIG). The first SIG is included at no additional fees with all levels of membership. For Basic levels, each additional SIG thereafter is a $5 fee per year. For Plus, Preferred, and Premium levels, the second SIG is included at no additional fee, each additional SIG thereafter is a $5 fee per year. SIGs are priced for one year; individuals purchasing multi-year membership will need to multiple the price of the SIG by the number of years to join the SIG for the length of membership. Members may join as many SIGs as they wish.

Once an application or renewal is received and processed, we are not able to change your SIG selection. You may add additional SIGs for the $5 fee, but we are not able to switch your enrollment. The enrollment in the additional SIGs will coincide with your membership renewal date and will not be extended. You can find your renewal date and memberships status in the ‘My ACTFL’ portal.  Please contact to verify in which SIG you are currently enrolled, and to make payments for additional SIGs.

Currently, ACTFL has the following SIGs:

African-American Students - provides a public forum for the discussion of issues relating to African American students and their needs as language learners.

Arabic – serves as a network for and information sharing among Arabic language and culture instructors. 

Cinema (Film) - seeks to respond to the increasing interest in and use of films in language instruction, acquisition and assessment.

Community Colleges - provides leadership and cohesiveness to the teaching of foreign languages at the community college level.

Comprehension-based Communicative Language Teaching - seeks to foster among members a better understanding of the role of input and comprehension in the development of language proficiency.

Critical and Social Justice Approaches - promotes and supports critical and social justice approaches in language instruction.

Distance Learning - provides a forum for the discussion of strategies, program models, and the many challenges facing distance learning educators.

Heritage Languages – represent the concerns of and provide a network for the heritage languages teaching community. 

Immersion - To expand opportunities for dialogue, information exchange, professional development and research initiatives among ACTFL’s dual language/immersion educators who work in and advocate for school-based, preK-16 language immersion programs throughout the U.S.

Korean – provides a forum for discussion of Korean teaching, a networking system and a voice for Korean teachers.

Language Learning for Children - promotes and supports early language programs in the U.S. through advocacy, networking and articulation.

Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTL) - promotes the learning, knowledge and needs of LCTLs and the development of policies and the sharing of best teaching practices.

Modern Greek - provides a forum for the Modern Greek language and culture teaching community.

Portuguese - promotes and support Portuguese programs in the U.S.A. through advocacy, networking and articulation.

Research - provides leadership in conducting research to inform instructional practices and build theory, as well as demonstrate how research is shaped by knowledge and theory generated from instructional practices.

Small Undergraduate German Programs - promotes discussion of the issues and opportunities surrounding small German programs at colleges and universities.

Spanish for Heritage Learners - concerned with the teaching and learning of Spanish for individuals who have a home background in the language.

Teacher Development - provides a forum for the discussion of foreign language teacher preparation, both at the preservice and the inservice levels.

Teaching & Learning of Culture - encourages a better understanding of the teaching of culture and its place in the foreign language curriculum.

What Our Members Are Saying

ACTFL has been a foundational support to me throughout my career. As a district world languages coordinator, the support I need from ACTFL is different from what I needed as a classroom teacher, but the community of learners that ACTFL provides each one of us has remained constant and faithful over time.

Greta Lundgaard, Plano Independent School District