Academic journal article Foreign Language Annals

President's Message

Academic journal article Foreign Language Annals

President's Message

Article excerpt

Challenges swirl around us as language educators. From all corners we are asked to be accountable. The parents of students in elementary and middle school language programs want to know how their children are doing in our classrooms. High school and post secondary students want to know how the content of our language courses will develop their proficiency and help their careers. The public wants to know how their schools are doing compared to those in other communities. Employers want to know if new graduates are ready for the world of work. In such an era of accountability, research is essential. Research must tell us what works best and how we can be the most effective as teachers. Foreign Language Annals fills a critical need, helping language educators respond to such challenges.

While many factors complicate the learning of languages in addition to one's native language, we must find out how to help ALL students learn languages. The federal Elementary and secondary Education Act, referred to as "No Child Left Behind," places world languages as a core academic subject, important for all students to learn. Besides needing resources and staff, we need to know which methods and tools help students learn languages. Research provides answers. We as language educators are then better able to respond by keeping our standards high, providing effective language learning, preparing ourselves as fluent users of the languages we teach, and coaching students to understand new cultures.

Besides the challenge to be accountable as educators, we recognize a parallel challenge to be advocates for language learning. The public is far from unanimous about the value of learning more than one language. …

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