Michigan Merit Curriculum
The Michigan Merit Curriculum is under review by a Senate subcommittee after multiple attempts in the legislature to weaken its world language requirements. A Detroit News editorial and Michigan Radio interview argue for maintaining world language graduation requirements.
Michigan Legislature Notification Service
Stay informed on legislative action affecting world language education by signing up for the Michigan Legislature’s Notification Service. The “Take Action” page on the MIWLA website lists bill numbers and other information about current legislative action.
The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages provides language advocacy resources and links. ACTFL’s Lead with Languages campaign seeks to build awareness about the growing importance of language skills to a wide array of careers, and includes an Advocacy Toolkit with ideas for promoting languages in and beyond the classroom.
The Joint National Committee for Languages and National Council for Languages and International Studies, works to ensure that Americans have the opportunity to learn English and at least one other language, to advance the language profession in the US, and to raise awareness about the importance of language and international education to the national interest.
Reports and Data on Language Learning
- A 2017 Congressionally-mandated report of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, America’s Languages: Investing in Language Education for the 21st Century concludes that educating students to be competent in another language is essential to our nation’s economic growth, competitiveness, and national defense. Highlights of the include statistics on the current state of languages in the United States, and recommendations for a national strategy to improve access to languages. Recommendations are supported by testimonials and profiles of professionals for whom language skills have been key to their success.
- A 2017 report of the bipartisan policy think tank New American Economy, Not Lost in Translation: The Growing Importance of Foreign Language Skills in the U.S. Job Market, highlights the demand for foreign language skills in the American workplace, including findings that the number of job listings requiring language skills more than doubled between 2010 to 2015.
- The 2015 U.S. Department of Education report Dual Language Education Programs: Current State Policies and Practices analyzes dual language education throughout the United States, including information on the benefits of and need for these programs.
- A 2015 Foreign Language Annals article, Students with Learning Disabilities in the Foreign Language Learning Environment and the Practice of Exemption, reviews the literature on second language learning by students with learning disabilities, addressing the benefits of language learning, the practices and policies of language exemption, the perceptions of students and educators regarding exemption, and available resources for supporting students with special needs. It questions the policy of granting foreign language exemptions and provides insights for educators into the development of inclusive foreign language learning environments.