The purpose of our advocacy section is to provide news and information about the state of world language education in general, as well as Spanish and Portuguese in particular, in the hopes of promoting the study of languages and cultures at all levels.
Here we share possible advocacy projects, describe ideas on how to create or build upon programs, demonstrate ways to influence language policy, and finally, acknowledge the benefits of the Spanish and Portuguese languages.
How do we support world language learning?
The benefits of any world language education program are numerous and widespread. Learning a second or third language has led to improvements in many different ways, including those that are directly correlated to a student's success as an adult. Understanding other languages and cultures can:
- build cultural sensitivity and intercultural relations,
- develop basic skills,
- lead to higher standardized test scores,
- improve cognitive development,
- benefit critical thinking,
- provide employment opportunities,
- facilitate travel,
- and lead to higher pay.
If the goal of any educational system is to produce well-rounded and productive members of society, it goes without saying that world language education is an integral part of the process. The U.S. is the only industrialized nation that routinely graduates students from high school with knowledge of only one language. We cannot send students into the world as monolinguals and feel confident that, with its ever-growing global interconnectedness, they will be economically secure or culturally aware.
Competence in other languages is no longer frivolous; it is fundamental.