Academic journal article Foreign Language Annals

It's Here!: 2005 the Year of Languages

Academic journal article Foreign Language Annals

It's Here!: 2005 the Year of Languages

Article excerpt

TIME TO

Celebrate, Educate, and Communicate the Power of Language Learning

BREAKING NEWS: House Passes YOL Proclamation

At press time, we received this exciting news.

On March 8, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H. Res. 122 proclaiming 2005 as The Year of Languages throughout the United States. The resolution, sponsored by Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) and Rep. Patrick Tiberi (R-OH), calls on the President to issue a proclamation encouraging the public to support initiatives to promote and expand the study of languages. Holt gave a significant speech on the House floor calling for more effective K-12 and college programs to meet the needs of our national interests in both business and government. ACTFL is grateful to Reps. Holt and Tiberi for their support. The Senate version (S. Res. 28), which passed February 17, is printed on p. 138 of this issue. More information is available at http://www.yearoflanguages.org.

The Year of Languages campalgn is unlike anything that has happened in the United States ever before and there is no doubt that every single individual and organization that has an interest in language learning-especially foreign language educators-should commit themselves to promoting the effort in every way imaginable.

It is through the creativity and commitment of ACTFL members that this year will be the success that we all envision. Don't sit on the sidelines to see what will happen. 2005: The Year of Languages will have the desired impact only as the result of a major grassroots effort. That means now is the time, if you haven't already, for you to work out exactly what you will do to get in the game and take part in the excitement.

Get the Word Out

Whether it is getting public service announcements (PSAs) highlighted in your local newspaper, TV, and radio stations; organizing community and school events; putting up posters or billboards; writing articles, editorials, or letters to the editor about language learning; partnering with local business and community leaders; wearing and using YOL promotional materials (available from ACTFL); or any other creative ideas you may have to put into actionwe need your personal involvement!

Many organizational and communication tools are available to assist you at the official 2005: The Year of Languages Web site: http://www.yearoflanguages.org. This site is your portal to everything you need to know about the campaign. The latest updates, ideas, and activities are featured. You can find the official event calendar, as well as a bulletin board to share your plans and activities with other educators and learn what they are doing at their schools. You can use the bulletin board to post your activities by category, and read about what others are doing all from over the country. There is also a participant kit with sample press releases, sample proclamations, a generic article, and much more.

A Big Bang

November: Kickoff

The 2005: The Year of Languages campaign officially began in November at the ACTFL Annual Meeting. Thousands of ACTFL members gathered in Chicago to "celebrate our international spirit" and to either learn how they could become personally involved in the effort, or to share the big plans they had and inspire others to action in the next year. Delegates learned about publicity efforts and saw firsthand how a successful public relations event is staged with the first "Language Pop Quiz" which took place on the streets of Chicago. Foreign language teachers representing ACTFL hit the pavement to ask average Chicagoans, "What time is it?" in different languages and then tabulated the results to given the city a grade in foreign language fluency. The event was covered by major media in the city, including ABC-7 News, The Chicago Tribune, and The Chicago Sun-Times.

December: Media

In order to get maximum media attention focused on the upcoming Year of Languages, December included a press conference hosted by ACTFL held at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. …

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