Research Briefs

Sharing research both within and beyond the ACTFL community


These short pieces report what the research shows about key topics, like the importance of early world language study, the impact of world language study on cognitive or academic outcomes, and more.

Written for educators, administrators, policymakers, and community members, the ACTFL Research Briefs focus on world (non-English) language education in the United States. They address the questions that we are commonly asked about language teaching and learning. They center on questions that can be answered by research that has already been conducted in the field.

Current Briefs

All ACTFL Research Briefs are publicly available here, and some may also be featured in ACTFL publications Foreign Language Annals and The Language Educator. New briefs will be published periodically throughout the year.

ACTFL Research Briefs Call for Proposals

The ACTFL Research Briefs Task Force is seeking authors for the ACTFL Research Briefs. The ACTFL Research Briefs are short reports intended to provide an accessible summary of current research relating to world language education in the United States. The intended audience is stakeholders like‚ÄČadministrators, legislators, state boards of education, school board members, students, and parents. Please see the Author Guidelines for more information on what to include in the Research Briefs.

The ACTFL Research Briefs will be published online on the ACTFL website, with a possibility of parallel publication in the ACTFL flagship publications: Foreign Language Annals and/or The Language Educator.

Currently, we are accepting proposals for Research Briefs written on the following topics (Note: proposals written addressing other topics will not be considered at present):

  • What level of proficiency is attained after X years of world language study
  • Academic outcomes of world language study
  • Cognitive outcomes of world language study

Please fill out the form below to submit your proposal. The deadline date to submit your proposal will be June 1, 2023. Proposals will be considered starting on June 1, 2023.

Questions can be directed to Dr. Pamela Wesely - or Dr. Margaret Malone -

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The Impact of Early Language Learning
Learning language has positive impacts both in the language classroom and beyond.
Research Findings
Advanced Language Proficiency
Advanced language proficiency is beneficial for cross-cultural understanding.
Research Findings