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Advocacy Research

Did You Know…

Students who follow block and traditional schedules perform equally well in foreign language study according to the research.  Effect of schedule type on foreign language learning was among Ten Burning Questions answered through research.  Find the questions here.

NATIONAL REPORTS

Tough Choices or Tough Times – This report of the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce, published in 2007, makes the case for preparing students for the global economy. Former Commissioner of Education in Massachusetts, David Driscoll, was a member of this commission.  It is now only available in published form.

The Partnership for 21stCentury Skills -  The concept of 21st Century Skills originated at the national level. This website maintains ongoing information regarding the progress of the initiative.

The Benefits of Second Language Study – This NEA research, published in December 2007 is a compendium of findings on the benefits of language learning.

RESOURCES FOR EARLY LANGUAGE PROGRAMS

A handy resource:  A few quotes and some well-chosen articles make Research-Based Answers to Common Administrator Concerns a good short handout for your administrator when discussing the expansion of the foreign language program in your district.

CAL Resources for parents considering early language study for their child:

  • Raising Children Bilingually - The site offers a series of articles that answer parental concerns about learning two languages at once. It includes a guide for starting an elementary foreign language program, advice on tapping heritage languages, and addresses fallacies about bilingual education. The page also contains a bibliography of reference works on the topic.
  • Raising Bilingual Children: Common Parental Concerns and Current Research, Kendall King and Lynn Fogle -This digest was written to help those who work with children understand parental concerns about bilingual childraising, providing research information to help answer common questions.

Research showing that early foreign language study improves language and cognitive skills across a variety of disciplines:

Benefits of Being Bilingual, July 2008 – This site provides a series of links to articles that detail the benefits of early language acquisition and bilingualism.

GENERAL FOREIGN LANGUAGE ADVOCACY

“The Languages We’re Learning Now”  – Listen to this great podcast of a recent On Point with Tom Ashbrook and our ACTFL friend Marty Abbott.

Why Study a Foreign Languages: An Essential Core Experience – While examining the struggle to make foreign language study part of the core, the author cites a wealth of research to make his case.  A good resource for research-based advocacy.

Items of interest on the ACTFL webpages are:

- What the Research Shows – Organized as a series of statements about the benefits of second language learning, the page sends the reader to specific sites that document each statement.
- National Standards for Language Education – A very brief history of the philosophical and historical underpinnings of the National Standards for foreign languages.
- Guidelines for Starting a Program – A primer written by Marcia Rosenbusch that details the planning process and cautions that should be observed by those planning new elementary programs.
- Characteristics of Effective Elementary School Foreign Language Programs - Lists important factors for elementary programs such as goals, sequence, articulation, assessment, frequency, support and staffing.
- Foreign Language Advocacy – Eight easy steps from JNCL for being an effective foreign language advocate.
- Working Together to Build a Multilingual Society – Make your own colorful brochure from the text that outlines how all stakeholders – parents, administrators, policymakers – can foster multilingualism.
- How, Why, and When Should My Child Learn a Second Language - Good brochure for parents who want to understand why and when children should study a second language.

MLA Brochures promoting Language Study
- Knowing other languages brings opportunities
- Language Study in the Age of Globalization: The College Level Experience

Second Language Learning: Everyone can Benefit, Kathleen M. Marcos, Fall 1998 – Outlines the personal, academic, cognitive, and societal benefits of language study.
Brain Research: Implications for Second Language Learning, Fred Genesee, December 2000 – Explores the findings of brain research.

Planning a new program? Download a free guide chock full of information, Starting with the End in Mind: Planning and Evaluating Highly Effective Programs, available through Pearson.

LANGUAGE-SPECIFIC ADVOCACY

AATF Promotional Materials for purchase
Information for promoting German
One individual’s reasons for studying Latin and a good list of web resources for the same.
Ten reasons for studying Arabic.
Studi Mazziotti is in the pink when discussing reasons for studying Italian.
AATSP gives reasons for studying Spanish and Portuguese.
Why study a less commonly taught language? – The website of the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and Eastern European Languages discusses reasons for studying LCTLs, including language-specific documents and other useful information.

OTHER RESOURCES

Ideas to Celebrate Languages and Cultures - Ideas from the California Language Teachers Association
MLA Language Map Data Center – Find the location and density of populations of speakers of other languages in the US.

Something to share with your students: According to CNN Money, the hottest job skill these days is proficiency in other languages!