Lead with Languages Advocacy Month 2021 Announced

CONTACT: Erin Whelchel
703.894.2900 ext. 124

For a fourth consecutive year, ACTFL is celebrating Lead with Languages Advocacy Month in February 2021. As part of its greater mission to improve and expand the teaching and learning of all languages at all levels of instruction, each February, ACTFL and its Lead with Languages campaign propose initiatives and digital activities to celebrate the achievements of language advocates from around the country and bring awareness to the value of world language education in the United States.

This year, ACTFL invites everyone involved in language acquisition—from students and their parents to educators, advisors, administrators, policymakers, and all those who recognize the value languages bring to their everyday lives—to show support for language education programs, and the advocates who help to sustain them at the local, state, and federal levels, by participating in one or more advocacy activities, including the #IHeartLanguages Challenge.

The Challenge, launching on social media on Monday, February 1, asks individuals to complete and share personalized #IHeartLanguages cards with the advocates in their lives to show appreciation for their efforts—then spread the word and join the conversation! An array of entries will be featured on the @LeadWLanguages channels to celebrate and broaden awareness of advocacy efforts from coast to coast.

In addition to the #IHeartLanguages Challenge, advocates are encouraged to:

  • Follow and engage with @LeadWLanguages on social media,
  • Accentuate their profile pictures with a dedicated campaign Twibbon,
  • Share key findings about the value and impact of language learning from ACTFL’s Making Languages Our Business report, and
  • Nominate a bilingual professional in their network to potentially be featured in the campaign’s Professional Profiles testimonial series.

“High-quality, accessible, and equitable language programs bring a wealth of cognitive, academic, and personal benefits to learners—from enhanced problem-solving and communication skills to a deeper sense of empathy and greater cultural competence. Research also shows that language skills are in urgent demand among U.S. employers, so when we support the educators and programs that nurture language students, we are also promoting future growth in our communities,” said Erin Whelchel, Outreach Manager for ACTFL. “Advocacy for language education takes many forms. In February, we celebrate all these diverse efforts, recognizing that every action makes a difference.”

For more information regarding ACTFL and Lead with Languages Advocacy Month, follow Lead with Languages on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and participate in the conversation by downloading the 2021 social media kit.

About Lead with Languages

Created in 2017, Lead with Languages is a multi-year campaign aimed at reversing the nation’s language skills gap and making language learning a national priority. The campaign seeks to build awareness across the U.S. about the growing importance of language skills to a wide array of careers—and to our nation’s economy, national security and international standing—with the ultimate goal of supporting a new generation of Americans competent in other languages and cultures and equipped to compete and succeed in a global economy.