Susan Frost
Vice President
The Sheridan Group
“I want you guys to be
studying hard because
it is critical for all
American students to
have language skills.
And I want everybody
here to be working
hard to make sure that
you don't just speak
one language, you
speak a bunch of
languages. That’s a
President Obama addressing students in
Washington DC at a Town Hall broadcast
by Univision, March 2011
“Getting ahead in today’s workplaces isn’t just about the skills
you bring from the classroom. It’s also about the experience
you have with the world beyond our borders – with people, and
languages, and cultures that are very different from our own.”
—Michelle Obama at launching of the 100,000 Strong Initiative, January 2011
“I’m a believer in foreign language training. I
think, unfortunately, this country hasn’t
devoted enough resources, really, to foreign
language training. You know, we’ve looked at
the three Rs – reading, writing, and arithmetic
– but we haven’t looked at [the] reality of the
world that we deal with…And I believe that for
the Defense Department and, I think, for the
State Department, there’s a recognition that
you need to have language in order to be able
to relate to the world that we live in.
So, you know, my goal would be, as we go through the budget, as we
develop the restraints that we have to develop, that we are creative
and not undermine the kind of teaching and language training that I
think is essential to our ability not only to protect our security, but
frankly to be a nation that is well educated.”
—Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, August 2011
“The interconnected nature of
the global economy necessitates
crossing language and cultural
barriers between countries.
Promoting foreign language
and cultural education gives
future generations the
framework for international
cooperation, a key for
economic competitiveness.”
--Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL)
in ACTFL’s September 2011
Language Educator
“The Obama Administration’s
plan for renewal of the
Elementary and Secondary
Education Act would consolidate
more than a dozen learningrelated programs into three
competitive funding streams
focused on literacy; the fields of
science, technology, engineering,
and mathematics, or STEM; and
a catchall category dubbed a
‘well-rounded education.’ ”
– Education Week Reporting on the
ESEA Blueprint, May 26, 2010
While no final deal has been passed, the House and
Senate have proposed to eliminate funding for the
FLAP program
The Senate has maintained last year’s cuts to Title VI,
proposing $75 million in funding, and the House
made additional cuts, proposing $66 million in
ACTFL sends a letter to the Senate
opposing cuts to language programs
1) FLAP grants to establish, improve, or expand innovative
foreign language programs for elementary and secondary school
**Approximately 74 current grants slated to receive funding
in FY 2012 across 29 states could lose their funding to
2) Elimination of the only federal funding for K-12 language
3) The chance to provide American students with a global
perspective and cultural competencies
According to ACTFL, only 18.5% of students
across the country take a language
Twenty out of twenty-five
industrialized countries
start teaching world
languages in grades K-5
Twenty-one of the thirty-one countries in the European
Union require nine years of language study.
Congressman Holt Introduces
Language Legislation
“HR 1994: Excellence and Innovation in Language Learning Act”
Representative Rush
Holt (D-NJ-12)
Representatives Russ Carnahan (D-MO-03), Judy Chu (D-CA-32), Gregory
Meeks (D-NY-06), Jared Polis (D-CO-02), Paul Tonko (D-NY-21)
Rep. Holt (D-NJ-12)
introduces H.R. 1994
“Excellence and Innovation in
Language Learning Act” and
in conjunction with Sen.
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
introduces “Foreign Language
Education Partnership Program
Act”, H.R. 1966/S. 1015, to
advance the language
learning agenda
Republicans, led by Education
and Workforce Committee
Chairman John Kline (R-MN02) and Early Childhood,
Elementary, and Secondary
Education Subcommittee
Chairman Duncan Hunter (RCA-52), eliminate the
authorization for foreign
language programs
Envisioning the Future of
Language Education in the U.S.
Ensures American students become globally competitive by providing them with
access to high-quality world language instruction starting in the early grades.
Federal: Creates a cross agency federal role that mandates
partnerships between the Departments of Defense, State, and
Education along with the intelligence agencies
State: Establishes a significant state role to:
• Designate state language coordinators to create and execute a
plan to encourage every graduate proficient in two languages;
• Creates way for states to share best practices
Local: Calls for articulated language pathways starting in the early
grades including high quality dual immersion programs
The Senate Health, Education,
Labor and Pensions Committee,
under the leadership of Senators
Harkin (D-IA) and Enzi (R-WY),
has passed a bipartisan ESEA bill
out of committee
Before passage out of the committee,
Senator Casey (D-PA) added an
amendment to the final bill restoring
funding for foreign languages
Cosponsored by Sen. Murray (D-WA), Mikulski (D-MD), & Merkley (D-OR)
Up to $500 million in competitive grants for high need schools for:
Civics and government
Environmental education
Financial literacy
Foreign languages
Health education
Physical education
Social studies
Priority given to applications which implement an interdisciplinary
approach, by one or more of the following subjects is combined with
reading, English, language arts, science, mathematics instruction and
provide expanded learning time in order to increase access to covered
What does the future look like?
Coordinating educators with State and Defense Departments,
Intelligence agencies, and the business community to develop
language pathways
Disseminating research about the benefits of language learning
on student achievement
Investing in programs that enable students to graduate
linguistically proficient and culturally competent
Honoring students heritage language in support of biliteracy
language educators
and parents
Grasstops: State
leaders with networks
and elected
Team Leader: Todd Bowen
State Leaders: Kathleen Priceman, Andy Hendrickson, Ignacio
Gamboa, Samantha Godden-Chmielowiz, and Jerry Packard
Key Legislators: Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Rep.
Judy Biggert (R-IL-13), Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL-02)
Team Leader: Duarte Silva
State Leaders: Lorraine D’Ambruoso, Norman Leonard, Nicole Naditz
Key Legislators: Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA),
Rep. George Miller (D-CA-07), Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA-52), Rep. Nancy Pelosi
(D-CA-08), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA-09), Rep. Lucille Royball-Allard (D-CA-34)
Team Leader: Leslie Baldwin
State Leaders: Caroline Kelly, Mary Lynn Redmond, Ken Stewart, Karen
Key Legislators: Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC), Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), Rep.
Virginia Foxx (R-NC-05)
Existing Teams
Key States
“Whatever you may be thinking when you apply for a job
today, you can be sure the employer is asking this: Can this
person add value every hour, every day — more than a
worker in India, a robot or a computer? Can he or she help
my company adapt by not only doing the job today but also
reinventing the job for tomorrow? And can he or she adapt
with all the change, so my company can adapt and export
more into the fastest-growing global markets? In today’s
hyperconnected world, more and more companies cannot
and will not hire people who don’t fulfill those criteria.” –
Tom Friedman, July 2011

Susan Frost - American Council on the Teaching of Foreign