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


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.
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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

    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:

    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”