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ACTFL and NFMLTA/MLJ Announce the Research Priorities Project

CONTACT: Marty Abbott
(703) 894-2900


Alexandria, VA—The purpose of the ACTFL Research Priorities Project is to support empirical research in six priority areas that are currently critical to improving foreign language education. Proposals can initiate a new research study, support/expand a study under way, or explore an emerging research area that is connected to one or more Research Priority areas. The research grants are funded by ACTFL and the National Federation of Modern Language Teachers’ Association (NFMLTA) and the Modern Language Journal (MLJ). Below each priority area is a list of sample research topics; research studies need not be limited to these topics.

  • Research Priority Area #1: Integration of Language, Culture, and Content
    • Content-based instruction
    • Immersion and other innovative programs
    • Heritage language programs
  • Research Priority Area #2: Foreign Language Teacher Development
    • Model teacher preparation programs
    • Mentoring
    • Preparing foreign language teachers for urban/rural settings
  • Research Priority Area #3: Classroom Discourse
    • Use of L1 vs. L2
    • Interactional practices
    • Dialogic inquiry
  • Research Priority Area #4: High-Performing Language Programs
    • Profiles of effective PK-16 teachers
    • Profiles of effective PK-16 classrooms
    • High-leverage pedagogical practices and/or assessment
    • Evidence-based decision making
  • Research Priority Area #5: Language Use in the Community
    • Service learning
    • Study abroad
  • Research Priority Area #6: Research on Practice in K-16 Settings
    • Assessment of learning outcomes associated with an instructional practice
    • Learning in blended and online contexts

The deadline for proposals is May 29, 2015. The Research Priorities Task Force will review proposals and select projects. Applicants will be informed of the selections by July 10. Selected studies will receive a $2500 grant from ACTFL and NFMLTA to help defray some of the research costs.

Proposals should be submitted electronically by May 29, 2015.

The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) is the national association for language education professionals from all levels of instruction and representing all languages. With more than 12,300 active members, ACTFL provides innovative professional development opportunities, acclaimed training and certification programs, and widely cited books, publications, scholarly journals, research studies and language education resources, including Foreign Language Annals and The Language Educator magazine. As part of its mission and vision, the organization 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.

The purpose of the National Federation of Modern Language Teachers Associations (NFMLTA) are the expansion, promotion, and improvement of the teaching of languages, literatures, and cultures throughout the United States through a variety of activities including, but not limited to, publication of The Modern Language Journal. The National Federation of Modern Language Teachers’ Associations was founded in 1916. The charter member organizations were the Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, the New Jersey Foreign Language Teachers Associations, and The New York State Association of Foreign Language Teachers. Currently, there are 17 member organizations.

Friday, March 13, 2015