Celebrate International Mother Language Day

International Mother Language Day was proclaimed by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in November 1999. It has been observed every year since February 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. Read more on the website of the UNESCO.


  • Stanford Language Center hosted an event to celebrate International Mother Language Day in February 2018. Here is a write-up from the Stanford Daily. https://www.stanforddaily.com/2018/02/23/center-hosts-events-celebrating-language-diversity/
  • Lead with Languages


    Lead with Languages is a campaign started by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL).

    WHO WE ARE: With language skills growing in importance in the job market, yet fewer than 1 in 10 Americans able to speak a second language, Lead with Languages is a national campaign aimed at making language proficiency a national priority.

    WHAT WE DO: We seek to raise awareness across the U.S. and motivate people to take action around the rapidly rising importance of language skills to a wide array of careers—and to our nation’s economy, national security and international standing.

    WHY WE DO IT: Our ultimate goal is to create a new generation of Americans competent in other languages and cultures and fully equipped to compete and succeed in a global economy.

    Find out more at leadwithlanguages.org

    Michigan launches Seal of Biliteracy Program


    By Brian McVicar bmcvicar@mlive.com

    Graduating high school seniors could have the opportunity this spring to earn a Seal of Biliteracy from the state of Michigan designating their ability to speak and write two languages.
    The Michigan Department of Education is launching the program this year. High school graduates who can demonstrate an “intermediate/high” proficiency in two languages, through an approved assessment, will be eligible to earn the seal.

    Read the full story at Michigan Live

    Lead with languages


    The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) launched an important campaign that focuses on raising awareness about the importance of learning another language besides English for American society. “Lead with Languages”, which was launched in late February.

    It is “is a multi-year campaign aimed at reversing the nation’s language skills gap and making language learning a national priority. The campaign seeks to build awareness across the U.S. about the growing importance of language skills to a wide array of careers – and to our nation’s economy, national security and international standing – with the ultimate goal of supporting a new generation of Americans competent in other languages and cultures and equipped to compete and succeed in a global economy.”

    Read the press release

    On Capitol Hill for Language Advocacy Day


    On Thursday, February 16th, more than 150 language experts from across the U.S. will descend on Capitol Hill to lobby for languages.

    Dr. William P. Rivers, the Executive Director of the Joint National Committee for Languages (JNCL-NCLIS), the organization that hosts Language Advocacy Day, shares why he and hundreds of others believe that foreign languages need advocacy and how any concerned citizen can advocate for languages in their community.

    Read the interview:
    https://medium.com/@AC_Global/on-capitol-hill-for-language-advocacy-day-a-conversation-with-dr-william-p-rivers-866b6e2a17a2#.29hx4f2tg

    Promoting a language proficient society: What you can do

    by Kathleen M. Marcos and Joy Kreeft Peyton (2000)

    This digest from the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL), gives information on what parents, teachers, school administrators, policy makes, and the business community can do to support foreign language study in the US. It also provides further resources for language advocacy and a directory of resources for foreign language programs in general.
    Go to the Digest page at CAL and look for “Promoting a Language Proficient Society: What you can do”