In light of the extraordinary ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the education landscape, ACTFL is even more determined to pursue its mission of providing vision, leadership, and support for quality teaching and learning of languages.
There are real concerns that language educators will be unable to meet the needs of their learners, not only this fall but into the future, if federal, state, and local entities do not intervene. For this reason, ACTFL has released a statement supporting language educators and learners this fall. The statement outlines five concrete recommendations in support of the language education community:
- Prioritise Educator and Learner Health and Safety.
- Include Language Educators in the Decision-Making Process.
- Focus on Equity and Access.
- Invest in a Pipeline of Well-Prepared and Diverse Educators.
- Make Professional Development Widely Available.
“I am proud of ACTFL’s on-going commitment to teachers and I fully support this statement and recommendations,” stated ACTFL President, Bridget Yaden. “With so much uncertainty and so many moving parts as we begin the new school year, it is imperative that teachers have a voice in the planning and decision-making process to ensure a safe and effective learning experience for all.”
We know the numerous benefits of multilingualism, which include increased cognitive function, career competitive advantage, better cultural understanding, and increased empathy. If we are serious about giving every student this critical skill set, the U.S. must prioritise access to high-quality language education. If we fail to act in a measured way on behalf of today’s learners, we risk losing a generation of incredibly dedicated educators and support for language programs across the country could diminish considerably. Now is the time to act.