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World Language Advocates Gather in Washington for Language Advocacy Day

CONTACT: Lisa Campo
(703) 894-2900 x119

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Over 100 world language teachers and advocates will gather on Capitol Hill on Feb. 15-16 to meet members of Congress for Language Advocacy Day, an annual summit of administrators, educators, and language industry leaders organized by the Joint National Committee for Languages (JNCL).

World language educators PreK-20, researchers, analysts, translators, interpreters, business owners, and representatives of leading language associations will advocate to the Congress and Executive Branch for increased support for language programs and activities across the federal government. Participants will learn about the federal programs that affect the Language Enterprise, the role advocacy can play in advancing collective policy priorities, and, most importantly, how to be a successful advocate for world languages.

Language Advocacy Day coincides with the launch of Lead with Languages Advocacy Month, a public awareness campaign powered by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). February marks the one-year anniversary of the launch of Lead with Languages, and of the release of America’s Languages, the report of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Commission on Language Learning. During February, the world language community will celebrate and share language success stories with the public and policy-makers to catalyze a new generation of Americans competent in other languages and cultures to meet the global challenges of the 21st century.

ACTFL and JNCL are calling on all advocates to add their voice on social media in a simple but powerful way:

First, advocates should sign up by February 14 at midnight to participate in ACTFL’s Thunderclap campaign to raise awareness for the World Language Advancement and Readiness Act (H.R. 1239), a key objective during JNCL Language Advocacy Day. At 8 a.m. ET on the following day, the language industry will speak jointly by sharing one consistent message to hundreds of thousands of users via Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr.

Then, advocates will use the Lead with Languages Social Media Kit, full of action items and classroom activities. It includes a Call-to-Action guide for advocates to take immediate and sustained action throughout the month of February. The kit also features ready-made social media posts, infographics, online petitions, and more.

The Joint National Committee for Languages, a 501(c)3 organization, and the National Council for Languages and International Studies, a 501(c)4 organization, develop policy recommendations for the Language Enterprise and advocate to the federal government for implementation of those policies. Together, JNCL-NCLIS represent nearly 140 member organizations active in virtually all aspects of the Language Enterprise -- PreK-20 education, research, training, assessment, translation, interpreting, localization, and more.

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 12,000 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 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.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018