America’s Language Caucus

America’s Languages Caucus

Reps. Price and Young Launch America’s Languages Caucus

November 12, 2019 | JNCL Newsroom

On November 12, 2019, Congressman David Price (D-NC) and Congressman Don Young (R-AK) announced the creation of the Congressional Caucus on America’s Languages, a bipartisan effort to support and enhance world language competency and international education among students and professionals across the United States.

The decision to launch a new America’s Language Caucus resulted from a 2017 American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Commission on Language Learning report: America’s Languages: Investing in Language Education for the 21st Century that makes clear that the United States needs significantly more bilingual and biliterate citizens to help ensure national security, promote economic and job growth, and develop the potential of every American student.

To learn more about this new caucus, visit


Here’s why learning another language should be compulsory in every school

“Now, after spending most of my adult life in higher education, researching languages, cultures and cognition, I have become more convinced than ever that nothing teaches us about the world and how to think more effectively better than learning new languages. That is why I advocate for fluency in foreign languages. But for this to happen, language-learning needs to make a comeback as a requirement of both primary and secondary education in the United States. Learning another language benefits each learner in at least three ways – pragmatically, neurologically and culturally.”

Read the full article by Dan Everett, published October 14, 2018

Dan Everett currently serves as Dean of Arts and Sciences at Bentley University in Waltham, MA. He is well known for his work on Piraha.

Learning a foreign language opens door to greater marketability

“Careers and promotions: A second language is now becoming a vital part of the basic preparation for an increasing number of careers. I am not talking about majoring in foreign languages. Any profession today, coupled with the knowledge of a second language, prepares the professional to be ahead of the curve.

Many major U.S. corporations that currently make a high percentage of their profits from international markets are hiring professionals with a proficiency in foreign languages. Even in a tight job market, many graduates report that their foreign language skills enhance their hiring. Many employers are responding to the need to hire bilingual people by offering more money to start and higher raises throughout their staffer’s career, whether they stay home or are posted overseas.”

Read more here:
by Emmanuel Ngomsi, The Kansas City Star, November 7, 2018

Seal in Storm Lake Community SD in Iowa

The Storm Lake Community School District will be participating in the Iowa Department of Education’s new Seal of Biliteracy available to school districts. Starting this school year, SLCSD will recognize eligible students with an official Seal of Biliteracy on their diplomas or high school transcripts.
Read the story

H.R. 1239 World Language Advancement and Readiness Act

World Language Advancement and Readiness Act of 2017

This bill directs the Department of Defense to award three-year competitive grants to state and local educational agencies for the establishment, improvement, or expansion of world language (e.g., foreign language or American Sign Language) programs in elementary and secondary schools.

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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.
  • 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

    Michigan launches Seal of Biliteracy Program

    By Brian McVicar

    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

    Seal of Biliteracy Website

    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    “A man who does not know a foreign language is ignorant of his own.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 – 1832)
    [Wer fremde Sprachen nicht kennt, weiß nichts von seiner eigenen.]

    Nelson Mandela

    “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” – Nelson Mandela (1918 – 2013)

    Experts, Educators Say Benefits of Bilingualism Are Brushed Aside in U.S. Schools

    Here is a story on the June event held by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) on “The link between foreign languages and US national security”.
    by Terry West, The Washington Diplomat, September 29, 2017

    Read the post:

    You can also watch the full video at the site of the CFR

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