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Special Focus Topics Submission

January/February 2018

Leading with Culture

AAAS Recommendation 5: Promote opportunities for students to learn languages in other countries by experiencing other cultures and immersing themselves in multilingual environments.

Lead with culture and language will follow. Lead with learners' motivation of engaging with the people, products, practices, and perspectives of another culture, and learners’ motivation is strengthened to develop language proficiency. "We learn to understand another culture and interact appropriately within it through the learning of its language for purposes of communication" (World-Readiness Standards). What works to develop learners as intermediaries between cultures and as cultural explorers—and develop stronger intercultural communicative competence?

ARTICLE SUBMISSIONS DUE: October 1, 2017

March/April 2018

Supporting Heritage Learners

AAAS Recommendation 3: Support heritage languages already spoken in the United States, and help those languages persist from one generation to the next.

AAAS Recommendation 4: Provide targeted support and programming for Native American languages as defined in the Native American Languages Act.

Language holds culture, provides identity, and links communities. How can we as language educators support native or heritage speakers? For many heritage learners, their language is not available for study or for credit within their school or university. What are the challenges and opportunities to develop heritage learners’ language skills to include communication within their family as well as a career asset? Share examples of supporting heritage language learners to achieve the Seal of Biliteracy in an increasing number of states.

ARTICLE SUBMISSIONS DUE: December 1, 2017

August/September 2018

Building our Professional Capacity

AAAS Recommendation 1: Increase the number of language teachers at all levels of education so that every child in every state has the opportunity to learn a language in addition to English.

Teacher recruitment and retention are critical issues facing our profession, with 44 states reporting shortages of language educators. How can we all reach out to bring in and support new language educators? At every level, communities and networks of educators are collaborating on unit and assessment design, exploring their practices, engaging in online discussions, and sharing resources. Advocacy is only as effective as the results demonstrated by learners, results focused on learners showing increasing language proficiency. What is effective to increase our professional capacity?

ARTICLE SUBMISSIONS DUE: May 1, 2018

October/November 2018

Leveraging Community Connections

AAAS Recommendation 2: Supplement language instruction across the education system through public-private partnerships among schools, government, philanthropies, businesses, and local community members.

How are we making the case for languages in order to draw in a broader network of supporters? How are language programs made visible; how are programs proving their value to the local community? Partnerships are essential for long-term support. Tell others what is effective in creating, maintaining, and leveraging connections with communities beyond your institution.

ARTICLE SUBMISSIONS DUE: July 1, 2018