Projects for the present
If you're looking to build, maintain, or improve an existing program, here are a few ideas to consider.
1. Join the AATSP
For more than ninety years, the AATSP has been dedicated to serving the profession. Whether it's keeping you informed about Spanish or Portuguese in education or language policy, providing opportunities for networking and career building, or producing classroom resources for you to try, we can help!
2. Start a Spanish or Portuguese Club
Presenting world languages in an extra-curricular environment can help remind students that learning a language is not just academic, it's fun and has a real-world purpose. While building a better understanding of the language, students will build relationships and be more likely to further their education in Spanish or Portuguese.
3. Establish a Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica Chapter, a Sociedad Hispánica de Amistad Chapter, or a Sigma Delta Pi Chapter at your school
Honor Societies are a way to motivate and recognize students in their efforts towards excellence. The Sociedad Hispánica de Amistad serves middle school world language students, the Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica is for high school students, and Sigma Delta Pi functions at the university level. Creating or utilizing an honor society is yet another way to help students to take interest in their world language education.
4. Celebrate the languages and cultures with festivals and events
Whether you participate in a World Languages, Spanish, or Portuguese Day at the local or state level, language festivals can help strengthen your curriculum and provide a fun event for students to look forward to and participate in.
5. Publicize your program with presence on the web and in the local news
You can bring attention to your program by way of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, which serve as a great way to communicate with other world language teachers, students, and the community. You can also recognize students and world language events in your local newspaper.
6. Administer the National Spanish Examination (NSE) or the National Portuguese Examination (NPE)
The mission of these exams is to recognize student achievement and to promote language proficiency in the study of the languages. The NSE and NPE provide teachers with assessment tools and offer students opportunities to practice their language skills.
7. Incorporate the community into the process of language learning
Invite business owners and public officials to speak about their career experiences with world languages. In turn, you can create assignments that will utilize students' knowledge of a language in the public space of their community (like going to a church service in Portuguese or watching a Spanish film).
Plans and possibilities for the future
1. Revise school policies
Whether you're a student, teacher, or administrator, you can affect the way your world language program is used or treated. Consider working towards retroactive credit for knowledge of a language for upper level education, creating a dual enrollment program to take classes at the University level for high school credit, or even mandating a world language requirement.
2. Create opportunities for student and/or teacher development
There are many different events through which students and teachers will gain invaluable experience. Undergraduate research symposiums, teacher workshops or immersion weekends, regional conferences, and a World Languages Day will allow for networking and professional development.
3. Strengthen articulation between elementary and high school world language programs as well as between high school and postsecondary programs
You can create opportunities for all levels of educaton to meet and help build on each others' skills. For example, students from the postsecondary level could provide workshops or give lectures to spark interest in high school students. High school students can serve as tutors or conversation partners for students in elementary and middle schools.