Center for Language Education and Research > Resources > Newsletter > Archived Issues > The Year of Languages: What's the Next Step? (plus CLEAR's 10-year retrospective)

The Year of Languages: What's the Next Step? (plus CLEAR's 10-year retrospective)

The following is an excerpt from this issue of the CLEAR newsletter.  Please click the link below to read the full article.

As 2005 came to a close, so too did the Year of Languages. However, the energy, enthusiasm, and sense of purpose to expand language teaching and learning nationally that the Year of Languages sought to inspire continues to gain momentum. On January 5, 2006 the White House acknowledged the need to support and encourage a significant national commitment to fostering foreign language competence by announcing the National Security Language Initiative (NSLI). Through targeted funding opportunities, this initiative seeks to support teachers and expand instruction in foreign languages (see Table 1 for the URL and details on the NSLI’s goals). This initiative and other new and expanded programs, initiatives, and legislation, seek to address what some may call our nation’s “language crisis.” Much of the focus, of federally funded programs in particular, is on critical languages, usually less commonly taught languages (LCTLs), which are deemed critical for national and economic security. Nonetheless, regardless of the language, there is little controversy over the need for foreign language learning to begin earlier and be made available more broadly and for a longer period of time.

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