Across the state, districts are starting to publish the news of their Seal of Biliteracy accomplishments.
Please send further press releases to Nicole Sherf
MaFLA was Well Represented at Conference in DC
The mission of JNCL-NCLIS is to ensure that Americans have the opportunity to learn English and at least one other language, to advance the language profession in the US, and to raise awareness about the importance of language and international education to the national interest. Read a great overview of the Language Advocacy Day.
Join the JNCL-NCLIS mailing lists to receive: Language News, Language Policy Updates and Language Advocacy Alerts.
You need to know: The American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAA&S) announced its Commission on Language Learning, the first national study on language in over 30 years. See the full report! The Commission was formed in response to requests from Congress to examine the importance of language to the United States.
On November 22, 2017, Governor Baker signed a comprehensive legislation called Language Opportunity for our Kids (LOOK) which opens up the restrictive one-size-fits-all SEI mandate for districts and includes a Seal provision to reward students for functional biliteracy through the Seal. This is a monumental piece of legislation for the foreign language, dual language and English language learner (ELL) teacher groups who sponsored it.
MaFLA was very involved in the ACTFL Convention in Boston, facilitating workshops, running our Awards and Business Luncheon and our Non-Foreign Language Administrator Workshop as well as running the MaFLA Booth in the Exhibit Hall. The MaFLA Booth in the Exhibit Hall of the ACTFL Annual Convention was bustling with activity throughout the convention. MaFLA members, MaFLA friends and curious attendees all stopped by to visit, see what we had to offer and pick up one of the various fun MaFLA gifties that we were giving away!
Every year, the Joint National Conference on Languages and the National Committee on Languages and International Studies (JNCL-NCLIS) has a Legislative Day and Delegate Assembly to orient language organization and industry leaders on national foreign language legislation and funding priorities for legislative visits to support and strengthen foreign language teaching and programming nationally. Under the leadership of Executive Director William Rivers, the organization has been revitalized with the inclusion in the organizational membership of leaders of the language industry. Find the complete list of the 111 organizational and business members of JNCL-NCLIS, representing hundreds of thousands of language professionals across the nation. This gives foreign language teaching and programming a powerful voice in Washington. Bill Rivers provided testimony at the May 12, 2016, Hearing at the MA State House of the Joint Education Committee for the H422/S336 Seal of Biliteracy legislation.
ACTFL TOY Dr. Ted Zarrow (Latin teacher from Westwood, MA), MaFLA’s Advocacy Coordinator Nicole Sherf and longtime foreign language advocate Phyllis Dragonas participated in successful legislative visits with Senators Warren and Markey and Representatives Moulton, Clark and Lynch. They also had the honor of discussing the importance of long sequences to develop functional biliteracy with Secretary of Education Dr. John King with ACTFL Executive Director Marty Abbott and President Peter Swanson (pictured below).
You will be interested in some of the great resources available through JNCL-NCLIS including research on how foreign languages relate to national security, technology, innovation and STEM among other pertinent topics. You will also want to read more about the exciting report to be released this fall by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. A Commission on Language Learning was requested by a bipartisan group in Congress in 2014 to examine the state of language learning in the United States. Concurrent with the release of the report, ACTFL will be releasing a national campaign called Lead with Languages. See the video for which legislative support was sought at the recent JNCL-NCLIS legislative visits.
Check out these great resources available through ACTFL: