Academic journal article Foreign Language Annals

President's Message

Academic journal article Foreign Language Annals

President's Message

Article excerpt

I recently had the opportunity to connect with Meg Malone, director of ACTFL's Center for Assessment, Research, and Development, and she shared her ideas about the center and connections with this issue of FLA. Every issue of FLA provides an opportunity for our field to review and reflect on research and issues at the heart of ACTFL's mission: improving and supporting the teaching and learning of all languages at all levels. This issue is no exception; the research published here demonstrates the importance of language teaching and learning from infancy through the senior years. As Kroll and Dussias (2017) pointed out, language learning provides cognitive advantages across a lifetime, and within a variety of human functions. From executive function to delaying the onset of dementia, language benefits both the individual and society. Yet despite the well-documented advantages of learning language, language enrollment is decreasing in all languages except Korean, American Sign Language, Portuguese and Chinese (Goldberg, Looney, & Lusin, 2015). It is not, surprising, then, that not only do some students lack opportunities to learn language (Bagget, 2016) entirely, but they also do not develop the high levels of proficiency that would benefit our nation (Jackson and Malone, 2010). Of equal importance is the availability of language instructors to facilitate language learning and ensuring that our language teaching professionals have high levels of proficiency and are prepared to teach, assess, and guide students in their language learning trajectories (Swanson, 2013). …

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