Language Matters

Kathleen Stein Smith, Ph.D

Kathy’s Year-End Update — 2016

Kathy’s Year-End Update — 2016


                                         Photo — ELS Educational Services


Hello Friends,

I have continued this year through my research and writing, professional engagement, and advocacy to work to raise awareness of the importance of foreign language learning.

I am pleased to share that 2016 has been successful and productive in raising the profile of French and foreign language advocacy and in increasing awareness of the U.S. foreign language deficit.

I firmly believe that — across the nation, and across the disciplines — foreign language skills and knowledge of other cultures are playing a more significant role, and that language enterprise partnerships are supporting a resurgence of foreign language education in the United States.

This has also been a true milestone year, as October 31st marked 5 years since I earned my doctorate.  As you know, a hallmark of my doctoral program was social relevancy, and my writing, research, and professional activities have been grounded in and framed by foreign language advocacy and engagement in the public conversation on foreign languages and foreign language education. Whether through social media, publications, or presentations, my contribution to the social presence and relevance foreign language advocacy has only has continued to increase.

  • Presentations and Professional Engagement

This year I presented at the CSCTFL (Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) Conference in Columbus, Ohio, and was invited to participate in the internship summit at the GALA (Globalization and Localization Association) Conference, in Brooklyn, both in March. Both were first time opportunities, which was even more exciting!

In April, I presented at Language and the Sustainable Development Goals: A Symposium, sponsored by the Study Group on the Language and the United Nations, at the UN Church Centre in NYC.

In July, I presented at the AATF Annual Convention, in Austin, Texas, and participated as French Language Facilitator for the third consecutive year in the 2016 Many Languages One World Essay Contest and Global Youth Forum, on the campus of Hofstra University, and at the United Nations.

In October, I presented at the COFLT-WAFLT (Confederation in Oregon for Language Teaching — Washington Association for Language Teaching) Conference, in Portland, Oregon, and at the CLAC (Cultures and Languages across the Curriculum) Consortium Conference, at Drake University, in Des Moines. The convergence of language and culture education at CLAC was inspiring to see in action.

In addition, my TEDx talk has had nearly 8,500 views.

  • Publications

I am delighted that my third book, The U.S. Foreign Language Deficit:  Strategies for Remaining Competitive in a Globalized World, was published this Fall by Palgrave Macmillan. It is already now held in nearly 90 WorldCat libraries.  My first book, The U.S. Foreign Language Deficit and Our Economic and National Security, is now held in well over 500 Worldcat libraries. This, I believe, firmly shows the interest in, and importance of, foreign language advocacy among educators and academics around the world.

I have also had several articles published —

“Beyond Foreign Languages:  Foreign Language as a Global Competency in International Education.”  International Educator May/June 2016.

“Internationalizing the Campus — @ the Library.”  Strategic Library November 2016.  Subscription only.

“The Library-Centered Campus.”   Strategic Library January 2016. pp. 13-16.   Subscription only.  Free trial subscription available.

“Many Languages One World, Promoting Multilingualism — The French Language Winners.”  American Association of Teachers of French National Bulletin, April 2016.

“Pushing the Multilingual Envelope.”  Language Magazine March 2016. p. 22-26.

“The Role of Multilingualism in Effectively Addressing Global Issues:  The Sustainable Development Goals and Beyond.”  Theory and Practice in Language Studies.   December 2016.

“So You Say:  Reader Responses to Issues in Language Learning.” (contribution included). The Language Educator.  August/September 2016.  p. 56. Available to ACTFL members.

“Update from the Commission on Advocacy.” AATF National Bulletin Sept 2016, p. 16.

“Why French?”  Language Magazine July 2016.

In addition, my “Language Matters” blog has had nearly 18,000 views and more than 10,000 visitors.

  • Featured in

AATF Convention in Austin.                      

  • Advocacy

As I complete my second year as Chair of the AATF (American Association of Teachers of French) Commission on Advocacy, I am happy to note that, in addition to our work supporting at-risk programs, our Facebook page now has more than 1,300 likes.

It is also important to note that I was invited to join the CSCTFL (Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) Advisory Council earlier this year and am also a member of the NECTFL (Northeast Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) Advisory Council.

I also continue to serve as a member of the ATA (American Translators Association) Education & Pedagogy Committee.

On my campus, I supported International Education Week 2016 with a presentation on French language and Francophone culture in the world and a book talk scheduled on my new book, The U.S. Foreign Language Deficit:  Strategies for Maintaining a Competitive Edge in a Globalized World.

Conclusions and Future Directions

As I remain convinced that it is the responsibility of those of us who have had the opportunity to receive an education to work to make the world a better place for future generations, I plan to continue to make every effort to increase awareness of the benefits of foreign language learning and intercultural communication and understanding in an increasingly globalized world.

As always, your support, guidance, and advice are greatly appreciated.





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