Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Your Cart   |   Sign In
Community Search
Calendar

9/18/2019
Webinar: “ADA Title II: Understanding the Communication Responsibilities of State and Local Agencies

9/19/2019 » 9/22/2019
Second Language Research Forum (SLRF) 2019

9/20/2019
Call for Chapters: Language Center Handbook

9/20/2019
CFP: Special Issue of Studies in Second Language Acquisition

9/20/2019
CFP: GALA 2020


Featured Jobs
Advocacy

photo of girl with globe

 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.


 

 

AATSP President Makes Languages a Bipartisian Issue!

Click here to read the article spotlighting
our own AATSP President, Martha Vásquez.

 

 


 

Contact your House member today (find out who it is here) and ask that they become a co-sponsor to The Biliteracy Seal and Teaching Act (BEST Act;H.R.3119)!



By 2050, U.S. Could Have More Spanish Speakers Than Any Country

  With more than 52 million native and Spanish-language speakers, America is now the second-largest Spanish speaking population in the world after Mexico. In other words, the U.S. already has more Spanish speakers than Spain.

Approximately 41 million of these individuals, or 13.4 percent of the U.S. population, report that they speak Spanish at home. Forty-three percent of all U.S. Spanish speakers assessed themselves as speaking English less than “very well” in the 2013-2017 American Community Survey.

Mexico has 121 million Spanish speakers. Data obtained by the Cervantes Institute from the U.S. Census Bureau suggests that the U.S. will have an estimated 138 million Spanish speakers by 2050.

More than one in six U.S. residents claims Hispanic origin, which speaks to this exponential growth. The U.S. Hispanic population is also projected to account for 65 percent of the growth of the overall U.S. population between now and 2060.

 


Javier Serrano Avilés

 

 

Celebrando nuestros logros: el español en el mundo

 

Plenary Presentation
2017 AATSP Conference

Chicago, IL
Friday, July 7

 

Click here to access his plenary presentation.


AAAS Report Released: America’s Languages: Investing in Language Education for the 21st Century

Published by American Academy of Arts & Sciences, Cambridge, MA, 2017

America’s Languages: Investing in Language Education for the 21st CenturyResearch Papers, Monographs, and Project Publications

Click here to read the report online and download the PDF


Executive Summary Excerpt:

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than sixty-five million U.S. residents speak a language other than English at home—a number that has been growing decade by decade since the 1970s. Nevertheless, that number represents only 20.7 percent of the total population, and only a fraction of this cohort speaks, reads, and comprehends a second language well enough to use it in their everyday lives.2 The vast majority of American citizens remain monolingual.

While English continues to be the lingua franca for world trade and diplomacy, there is an emerging consensus among leaders in business and politics, teachers, scientists, and community members that proficiency in English is not sufficient to meet the nation’s needs in a shrinking world, nor the needs of individual citizens who interact with other peoples and cultures more than at any other time in human history.

In this report, the Commission on Language Learning recommends a national strategy to improve access to as many languages as possible for people of every region, ethnicity, and socioeconomic background—that is, to value language education as a persistent national need similar to education in math or English, and to ensure that a useful level of proficiency is within every student’s reach. As children prove especially receptive to language education—they spend much of their time in educational settings and can develop language skills gradually throughout their lives—the Commission believes that instruction should begin as early in life as possible. Its primary goal, therefore, is for every school in the nation to offer meaningful instruction in world languages as part of their standard curricula.

As a corollary, the Commission urges two- and four-year colleges and universities to continue to offer beginning and advanced language instruction to all students, and to reverse recent programmatic cuts wherever possible. It also applauds recent efforts to create new undergraduate language requirements on two- and four-year campuses.


The State of Languages in the U.S.: A Statistical Portrait

Published by American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Cambridge, MA, 2016

Click here to access the report online and download a PDF.

From the Introduction:

"Languages are fundamental to nearly every aspect of our lives. They are not only our primary
means of communication; they are the basis for our judgments, informing how we understand
others as well as ourselves.

"By several measures, the United States has neglected languages in its educational curricula,
its international strategies, and its domestic policies. According to the U.S. Census Bureau,
more than 60 million U.S. residents speak a language other than English at home—a number
that has been growing decade by decade since the 1970s. But of the more than 230 million
English speakers in the United States, very few develop proficiency in a language other than
English in our schools, and the numbers of school language programs and qualified language
teachers appear to be decreasing. Meanwhile, American businesses have reported a need for
employees who understand the nuances of communicating with the international community,
and the federal government continues to struggle to find representatives with enough language
expertise to serve in diplomatic, military, and cultural missions around the world.

"While English continues to be the lingua franca for world trade and diplomacy, there is an
emerging consensus among leaders in business and politics, teachers, scientists, and community
members that proficiency in English is not sufficient to meet the nation’s needs in a
shrinking world.

"This report summarizes the nation’s current language capacity, focusing on the U.S. education
system. The disparity between our goals—most notably the preparation of citizens who can
thrive in the twenty-first century—and the nation’s current capacity in languages will be the
subject of a forthcoming report from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Commission
on Language Learning."


 
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.

Sign In


Latest News