Language enrollments in the United States have seen little change in the past half century, remaining at approximately 20% in grades K-12 and 8% in higher education. One reason for these continually low percentages is the perception in this country that English is sufficient as the language not only for communication in this country but for international engagement as well. Another reason is our consistent failure to make language education truly accessible and relevant to all learners in this country who need and desire it, so they have access to jobs here and in other countries, health and legal services, and a sense of being world citizens. The future of language education depends on genuine systemic change, by dramatically increasing access to demonstrably effective instruction for all Americans in all of America’s languages.
The goal of this initiative is to promote, create, and sustain systemic change in the ways that language education is perceived and implemented in the United States, by demonstrating grassroots success in providing equal and equitable access to all of America’s languages for all learners. This includes individuals who often do not have access to schools and classes where these languages are offered — Black and People of Color; Native American, heritage, immigrant, and refugee populations; and people living in high-poverty rural and urban communities.
With the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Initiative has developed the pilot Guide to Exemplary Programs and Practices in U.S. Language Education, where programs are identified and described, to serve as models for teachers, administrators, and funders to meet the needs of these communities of learners. America’s Languages Working Group members and Fellows, recognized educators and stakeholders, volunteer their time to build and populate the guide. In the fall, 2021, the guide will be finalized, and school leaders can apply to be included as exemplary programs or nominate other schools.
Well, ok, relaunch. What a crazy ride revamping and reloading everything onto a different type of website format. I knew what I wanted to add and it took a bit of learning to do it. Still lots of work to do to fill in the placeholders I needed to add. So if you see something you would like more info about, email me. Otherwise, thanks for your patience while I retool and polish. It isn’t perfect and anyone who sees a typo or a broken link (yep there are many dead-end links I’m rerouting and adding to), PLEASE, email me email@example.com. I’ll be very grateful.
Some new items include an implementation forum. We have public and private forums to help the community at large and our REAL Literacy trained implementers who work within their own private PLCs. The private areas will soon have forms, exemplar videos, and mini-refreshers available. If you’d like access to one of these PLCs as a member of that school or district, fill out the registration form, otherwise feel free to review the public forums and participate.
Additionally, we have refined and revamp our services. Check them out to see how we can work together to make teaching and learning easier and more successful.
We are also in the process of polishing our supports like our Language Support Menus (LMSs) and quality interaction activity directions and facilitators. The Linguistics 4 Multilingual & English Learners activities and examples section is being populated as well. Check it out and feel free to share your examples or ask for suggestions. If you share with us, we’ll give you full credit.
Two other new pieces will be a Friends & Partners section where we will highlight all those great post, resources, padlets, tweeters, and bloggers out there that we feel are the epitome of multilingual learning (coming soon). The other new piece will be book and article reviews that we feel contribute to the cause. We’d love to have a book sharing club forum, so speak up if you’d like to suggest titles or have ones you’d like to review (coming soon).
More later. Visit often. Email us and let us know how we are doing.
See you out there and kudos for all you do for your colleagues and learners.