Diversity and Inclusion In World Language Teaching & Learning

Position Statement

ACTFL values diversity and strives for inclusion across world language teaching and learning contexts. It is committed to continuous reflection and evaluation of its specific practices and initiatives to promote access, anti-bias, diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracism.

ACTFL believes strongly in equal access to world language study and equitable opportunities for all individuals to develop linguistic and cultural competence and pedagogical knowledge. No individual should experience marginalization of their contributions or talents because of their unique attributes. Among others, these attributes include age, belief system, disability status, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, gender expression, language identity, migratory status, national origin, neurodivergence, race, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, and any other visible or non-visible attributes.

At the heart of this commitment is the recognition that the richness of diversity within ACTFL’s membership and the language education community at large is beneficial to both the individual and the global community. ACTFL is dedicated to fostering contexts that are inclusive of diverse backgrounds and perspectives by:

  • Leveraging and maintaining meaningful connections with diverse communities, both within the language community and among relevant non-language education stakeholders.
  • Promoting antiracist pedagogies, practices, policies, and ideas that affirm the dignity, representation, and contributions of diverse populations.
  • Creating professional learning and leadership opportunities that reflect diverse perspectives, are highly valued and widely accessible to all language educators.
  • Drawing on its diversity to build teacher capacity, and recruiting and retaining a language teacher workforce more closely aligned with the ever-changing demographics of our student bodies.
  • Demonstrating the positive role diversity plays in language education through processes, practices, and outcomes supported by evidence-based research.
  • Promoting the acceptance and normalization of gender inclusive and gender-neutral language in order to meet our stated goal that “no individual should experience marginalization.”
  • Affirming that all languages and varieties are equally valid, fostering an environment where linguistic diversity is celebrated and welcomed.

ACTFL will provide leadership and commit resources to achieve these goals and, by doing so, promote the critical role diversity and inclusive practices play within the language education community.

(approved by the ACTFL Board of Directors on May 17, 2019; revised July 16, 2024)