Language Matters

Kathleen Stein Smith, Ph.D

Celebrating over 3,500 downloads of my book, “The U.S. Foreign Language Deficit Strategies for Maintaining a Competitive Edge in a Globalized World”

I am delighted to share that my book, “The U.S. Foreign Language Deficit Strategies for Maintaining a Competitive Edge in a Globalized World,” has had more than 3,500 downloads.

Many thanks to all of you who have taken the time to read!  🙂

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“This volume explores why Americans are among the least likely in the world to speak another language and how this U.S. foreign language deficit negatively impacts national and economic security, business and career prospects. Stein-Smith exposes how individuals are disadvantaged through their inability to effectively navigate the global workplace and multicultural communities, how their career options are limited by the foreign language deficit, and even how their ability to enjoy travel abroad and cultural pursuits is diminished. Through exploring the impact of the U.S. foreign language deficit, the author speaks to the stakeholders and partners in the campaign for foreign languages, offering guidance on what can and should be done to address it. She examines the next steps needed to develop specific career pathways that will meet the current and future needs of government, business, and industry, and empower foreign language learners through curriculum and career preparation.”

Read more @ https://www.palgrave.com/us/book/9783319341583

Languages do matter!

Two years ago this week — Kathy presenting @ the NAFSA e-seminar on “Global Learning in Foreign Language Instruction: More Than Just Talk”

So happy to have 2 articles, “Building on Historic Foundations” and “French Teaching in the U.S.”, in the November issue of Language Magazine

So happy to have 2 articles, “Harnessing Heritage Languages” and “French Teaching in the U.S.”, in the November issue of Language Magazine.

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Languages do matter!

Visiting with French and foreign language educators at the NYSAFLT 2019 conference in Saratoga Springs

I am so happy to have had the opportunity to attend and to present at the NYSAFLT (New York State Association of Foreign Language Teachers) conference in Saratoga Springs. It was a wonderful opportunity to talk with French and foreign language educators from across the state and to hear their ideas, concerns, and hopes for the future.

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In my own presentation, “World Language Advocacy: Opening Doors to Connections Locally and Globally,” I discussed the need to expand access to foreign language learning and to ensure an early start so that all our children can enjoy the full range of benefits of bilingualism and intercultural understanding, and to encourage use of languages in addition to English throughout our society in order to develop sustainable multilingualism.

I also had the opportunity to attend great sessions on teaching languages through art, National French Week, foreign languages and job opportunities, as well as the insightful keynote on how our perceptions of student motivation — although not necessarily always correct — influence our approach to instruction.

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I was especially impressed by the heartfelt presentations at the Awards Banquet, where many French language educators were among those honored, and was delighted to see so many French language educators among those in attendance — an opportunity to see old friends and to make new ones!  Congratulations to all!

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The exhibit area — especially the NYSAFLT public advocacy table — was lively and well-attended, and the historic Saratoga Springs setting was beautiful — especially during fall foliage season. Even the train ride, along the scenic Hudson River, was enjoyable!

Many thanks to everyone at NYSAFLT for inviting me to present and for their warm welcome and hospitality, and special thanks to all those who attended my session.

Languages do matter!

 

Visiting with French language educators at MaFLA 2019

I was honored – and delighted — to present twice at the MaFLA 2019 conference in Springfield, Massachusetts – French Language and Francophone Culture in the US – A Global Language with a Local Touch/ Le Français – langue mondiale, langue locale, a presentation on the French language and Francophone culture in the US, followed later in the day by Que fait l’AATF pour la promotion du français?,a brief presentation on AATF advocacy during the annual meeting of AATF Eastern Massachusetts.

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In discussing the role of French language and Francophone culture in the US, I remain convinced that French can — and should — be considered an American language, part of our US history, heritage, and cultural identity. From the earliest French explorers through the most recent arrivals from France and the Francophone world, the French language and Francophone culture have always been a part of our heritage and experience.  In addition, reflecting the location of the conference, in New England as well as in parts of New York State, the role of both Québécois and Acadiens throughout our history is significant.
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I also had the opportunity to attend a wonderful session presented by Regina Symonds on ways to encourage staying in the target language in high school French classes. I was especially impressed to learn about the ongoing relationship that exists between her high school and a sister institution in France.

My second, brief, presentation – on AATF advocacy – gave me the opportunity to interact with dedicated French language educators and discuss not only the work of the AATF Commission on Advocacy, but also other AATF initiatives in both advocacy and promotion. In addition, we were able to discuss the importance of collaboration and teamwork among state chapters, regions, national commissions, the national headquarters, and our collective role within national and international language advocacy initiatives.

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Congratulations to all those who played a leadership role in the conference and to those who were honored and featured. Congratulations and best wishes to AATF’s Janel Lafond-Paquin on receiving the Distinguished Service Award and to Fabrice Jaumont on his keynote address.  Special thanks and best wishes to Brian Thompson, who is stepping down after 20 years as President of AATF Eastern Mass and to Joyce Beckwith, who is Treasurer of AATF Eastern Mass. Félicitations et meilleurs voeux, mes amis!

I especially enjoyed the opportunity to meet and interact with Noah Ouellette, the K-12 Education Officer at the Consulate General of France in Boston, and to chat with Margarita Dempsey, AATF region 1 representative.

Reflecting on the conference, I am especially appreciative of the fact that the sessions in the French strand, including my own, were presented en français, leading by example in re-affirming the importance of language use beyond the classroom. I was impressed by this well-planned and well-attended conference, and very appreciative of the warm welcome I received.

Most importantly, it was an opportunity to talk with dedicated foreign language education professionals from Massachusetts and beyond and to hear their thoughts, ideas, and concerns about French language learning and advocacy in the US.

Languages do matter!

 

 

 

Over 19,000 views! Many thanks to all foreign language advocates and supporters, and special thanks to “The Conversation”. 

Over 19,000 views! Many thanks to all foreign language advocates and supporters, and special thanks to The Conversation.

foreign languages scarce

“Of all the skills that a person could have in today’s globalized world, few serve individuals – and the larger society – as well as knowing how to speak another language.

Despite all these reasons to learn a foreign language, there has been a steep decline in foreign language instruction in America’s colleges and universities.”

Read more @ https://theconversation.com/foreign-language-classes-becoming-more-scarce-102235

Languages do matter!

So happy to be included in the current issue of the “Gazette violette,” newsletter of the American Society of the French Academic Palms.

So happy to be included in the current Automne 2019 issue of the Gazette violette, newsletter of the American Society of the French Academic Palms (ASFAP).

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Languages do matter!

Talking about Foreign Language Advocacy at the FLAVA 2019 Fall Conference in Williamsburg, Virginia

I am so happy to have had the opportunity to present on foreign language advocacy at the FLAVA (Foreign Language Association of Virginia) 2019 Fall Conference in Williamsburg, Virginia.

It was a wonderful opportunity to listen to and to talk with dedicated foreign language educators about the foreign language education and advocacy issues of concern and of interest to them

While at the conference, I had the opportunity to attend sessions on advocacy at the national and state level, as well as one on assessment, in addition to presenting my own session, “Unlocking the World for Our Students: The Role of Foreign Language Advocacy.”

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Foreign language skills and cultural knowledge have so many personal, professional, and social/societal benefits that it is of critical importance that all of our students have the opportunity to begin continued study of one or more languages from the earliest grade levels, preferably in an immersive setting.  It is equally important for language use — and advocacy — to extend beyond the classroom into our families, communities, and our society. Advocacy is a broad umbrella — everyone’s voice is needed!

Let’s work together !!!

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At this well-organized and well-attended conference, I was impressed by the number and scope of the sessions and by the extensive exhibit area.

I especially enjoyed visiting the AATF-VA table in the exhibit area and attending the annual meeting —  a wonderful opportunity to meet the Chapter officers and members present, making new friends and meeting in person those with whom I had only had email contact previously.

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The setting in beautiful and historic Williamsburg, Virginia, was evocative of our French heritage — from the early French Huguenots in Virginia, to supporters of the American Revolutionary cause, including Lafayette, De Grasse, and De Rochambeau, who played a vital role in ensuring victory at nearby Yorktown and the birth of the new republic, to those who speak French today in Virginia and beyond.

Many thanks to the FLAVA organizers for their gracious hospitality, and special thanks to everyone at AATF-VA for their warm welcome.

Languages do matter!

 

 

Kathy, Member of the National Coalition of Independent Scholars

Delighted to have been accepted as a member of the National Coalition of Independent Scholars (NCIS).

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Many thanks to everyone at NCIS for their warm welcome!  🙂

So happy to have received the print copies of my newest article, “Classes Duo Paris/Knoxville,” published in TPLS.

So happy to have received the print copies of my newest article, “Classes Duo Paris/Knoxville,” published in the September 2019 issue of TPLS: Theory and Practice in Language Studies. Special thanks to my esteemed co-author, Monique Y. Wells.

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Read more @ http://www.academypublication.com/ojs/index.php/tpls/article/view/tpls090910651073

Languages do matter!