Topic Thread

Lead with Languages: Advocacy Activities from Classroom to Community

  • 1.  Lead with Languages: Advocacy Activities from Classroom to Community

    Posted 11-14-2017 15:29

    Did you know that February 2018 is Lead with Languages Advocacy Month?

    Launched earlier this year, Lead with Languages is a national, multi-year initiative to prioritize language education. Ultimately, our mission 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. And to accomplish this goal, we need help from you-the educators who advocate each day both from your classrooms and beyond!

    Together, we'll be dedicating the entire month of February to spearheading and celebrating advocacy efforts across the country. Be sure to stay tuned @LeadWLanguages on social media for more details as the date approaches.

    In preparation, we want to hear from you:

    What are your thoughts, questions, and experiences on how to advocate for language education in your classroom or in the larger community? Join the conversation here to share specific activities you've used, your successes, and even the challenges you've faced.

    Or perhaps you simply want some feedback on an advocacy idea that you have, or you have a question for the community about advocating for your program...

    And if you've already tried a project from our Language Advocacy Toolkit-let us know about it!

    Whether you're new to advocacy or a tried-and-true pro, let's get creative and inspired together!

    Erin Whelchel
    ACTFL Special Projects Coordinator

  • 2.  RE: Lead with Languages: Advocacy Activities from Classroom to Community

    Posted 11-15-2017 13:21
    Edited by Christopher Cashman 11-15-2017 13:23
    I'm a high school teacher.  So far this year I've been projecting LeadWithLanguages screenshots on my computer screen as students walk in.  And then I read it and comment briefly on it. Takes 1-2 minutes, although sometimes I get into sharing an anecdote or story that the news headline or quote inspires.

    My next step with this is to start presenting the idea of study abroad to them.  My main objective as they plan out their futures is to tell them to include *going somewhere* as part of their goal-setting and college planning.  I met with my school's post-secondary counselor recently to get some guidance on this.  She broke down for me what types of study abroad programs exist:  summer, semester, year, or doing to a different country to get your whole college education; U.S. colleges that have branches, sister schools, or credit-sharing partnerships; sometimes FAFSA financial aid can be applied to courses overseas, sometimes it can't, etc.  We had a great discussion, especially since she had just come back from a counselor fly-in hosted by NYU Abu Dhabi and had discussions about this very subject.

    I plan to use the info she gave me to organize the next class-intro discussions / blurbs around those ideas and try to find examples of each.  It looks like the LeadWithLanguages webpage has a good source for researching existing Study Abroad programs, so that will be helpful to me!

    Chris Cashman
    Spanish Teacher
    OPI certification candidate

  • 3.  RE: Lead with Languages: Advocacy Activities from Classroom to Community

    Posted 11-15-2017 14:17
    Hi Chris -- Thanks for getting this conversation started!

    We love the idea of using Lead with Languages images to kick start a classroom conversation, and it sounds like that was a really productive discussion about study abroad options with your school's counselor.

    Something to keep an eye out for early next week:
    The next installment of the "Ask Away" interview series on our campaign blog ( will be a student testimonial about a 4-year full degree abroad program. We'll featuring a student named Maddie who is a senior at NYU Shanghai. A really great story -- can't wait to share it!

    Erin Whelchel
    Special Projects Coordinator

  • 4.  RE: Lead with Languages: Advocacy Activities from Classroom to Community

    Posted 02-05-2018 15:27
    Edited by Erin Whelchel 02-05-2018 15:28

    Dear All,

    Lead with Languages Advocacy Month has arrived!

    As you know, throughout the month of February, we'll be celebrating language learning stories and providing opportunities for you and your students to raise your voices in support of language education.

    For a quick way to get your team started, check out our Social Media Kit! You'll find instructions for changing your profile picture to include the Lead with Languages logo, click-to-tweet posts, and our super fun #LeadwithLanguages "advocacy selfies"!

    Please keep us posted (here on the Community and/or by email at my address below) as you participate, share, and tag -- we always love to hear from you!

    How are you Leading with Languages in February?

    Erin Whelchel
    Special Projects Coordinator

  • 5.  RE: Lead with Languages: Advocacy Activities from Classroom to Community

    Posted 02-06-2018 02:32
    Hi, Erin and everyone else!

    I am an ACTFL member but have lost the momentum recently because of school duties. I really really like the idea of having my colleagues share their success stories.  I read the thread and and if I understand, all they need to do is to let their students write stories and they share them via ACTFL social media? Thanks!

    Fatima Baroudi
    Secondary Arabic/ Tunisian Studies Coordinator/ World Language Department Coordinator
    American Cooperative School of Tunis

    Opening doors, hearts and minds

    extension: 325

    Sent with Mailtrack

  • 6.  RE: Lead with Languages: Advocacy Activities from Classroom to Community

    Posted 02-07-2018 09:03

    Hi Fatima –

    There are a few different ways that your colleagues and their students can submit their language learning stories!

    Yes, they can absolutely tweet us @LeadWLanguages to join the conversation. Additionally, we have a few more structured activities that they can use to get students reflecting and sharing:

    • For those who want to go to the next level, we're asking students for videos of up to 60 seconds that answer the prompt "Why is learning languages important to me?" These videos could be shared on our site and social channels.  For guidelines and examples, see here:

     Keep us posted, and keep Leading with Languages!


    Erin Whelchel
    Special Projects Coordinator

  • 7.  RE: Lead with Languages: Advocacy Activities from Classroom to Community

    Posted 02-08-2018 17:43
    Language is cumulative and must be consolidated outside the classroomPicture

    Ilba Prego