Language Matters

Kathleen Stein Smith, Ph.D

Kathy’s Year-End Update — 2018

The highlight of 2018 for me was being honored by the French government with the Chevalier des Palmes académiques decoration which I received from French Cultural Counselor Bénédicte de Montlaur on April 27th at Albertine in NYC.

Palmes deco 04-27-18 2

Throughout 2018, in recognition of the honor bestowed upon me by the French government, it has been my privilege to redouble my efforts to advocate for French language and Francophone culture in the United States.

My goal has been to continue my advocacy efforts through both professional engagement and research, writing, and publication in alignment with the mission of the AATF Commission on Advocacy, of which I serve in my second term as Chair, and in response to the pressing need to effectively address the US foreign language deficit.

In addition, I was delighted to be honored with the Outstanding Educator Award by the Educational Opportunity Fund, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Metropolitan Campus. (Apr 2018)

Other milestones include over 30K views of — and over 20K visitors to — my Language Matters blog, over 3K downloads of my most recent book, The U.S. Foreign Language Deficit: Strategies for Maintaining a Competitive Edge in a Globalized World, over 12.5K views of my TEDx talk on the U.S. foreign language deficit, and the presence of nearly 750 copies of my books in Worldcat libraries.

I would like to thank all of you who encouraged and supported my efforts this year and who attended my presentations, as well as all of you who have liked and followed both my personal and AATF Commission on Advocacy Facebook and Twitter pages (the AATF Commission on Advocacy Twitter page new in 2018).

Coming Soon!  My newest book, The Gift of Languages: Paradigm Shift in U.S. Foreign Language Education, co-authored with Fabrice Jaumont.  Find out more @

  • Presentations and Professional Engagement (in chronological order)

In January, I participated in a panel discussion on college foreign language requirements at the Modern Language Association (MLA) Conference in NYC.

In February, I attended the Northeast Conference on Foreign Language (NECTFL) Conference and attended the luncheon meeting of the American Society of the French Academic Palms (ASFAP).  I was delighted to present on foreign language advocacy at the Southwest Conference on Language teaching (SWCOLT) Conference in Santa Fe in February.

In March, I presented on foreign language advocacy at the Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (CSCTFL) Conference in Milwaukee and at the Southern Conference on Language Teaching (SCOLT) Conference in Atlanta.

In April, I was honored by the French Government and awarded the decoration of the Chevalier des Palmes académiques at Albertine in NYC.  Earlier in the month, I also attended my first annual meeting in NYC as a member of ASFAP.

In May, I presented a poster on “Global Voices: Many Languages One World” at the NAFSA: Association of International Educators Conference in Philadelphia.

Building on the inspirational experience of presenting at the regional conferences and responding to the urgency of effectively addressing the US foreign language deficit, I submitted proposals and was invited to present on foreign/world language advocacy at the Pennsylvania State Modern Language Association (PSMLA), New York State Association of Foreign Language Teachers (NYSAFLT), and Massachusetts Foreign Language Association (MaFLA) Conferences in October, and at the New Hampshire Association of World Language Teachers (NHAWLT) Conference in November — in Pittsburgh, Rochester, Springfield, and Manchester respectively. I came away from the regional and northeast state conferences impressed by the dedication and professionalism of foreign language educators across the country and in my own region.

I was privileged to moderate a panel discussion on fostering bilingualism in the home at the NYC Bilingual Fair in November.

During International Education Week (Nov 2018), I gave a talk on French language and Francophone culture around the world @ FDU’s Giovatto Library.

  • Selected 2018 Publications (in alphabetical order)

“L’Alliance Française: the resurgence of French in the U.S.” Language Magazine, July 2018, p. 36-38.

“Foreign Languages and Creativity — The Quiet Connection in a Globalized/Interconnected World:  How focusing on ‘deep work’ can help foster creativity, and foreign language competency”  JLTR:  Journal of Language Teaching and Research. v. 9 no. 1, Jan 2018.

“Foreign language skills as the ultimate 21st century global competency: Empowerment in a globalized world.”  International Journal of Research Studies in Language Learning. Vol 7, No 3 (2018),  71-86.

“Foreign Languages and Creativity: The Quiet Connection in a Globalized/Interconnected World.“ JLTR: Journal of Language Teaching and Research, Jan 2018.

“The French in Our Lives.” France-Amerique 07-13-18.

“From Knoxville to Paris: Linking Art and Bilingual Education.” France-Amerique 08-03-18.

“International Education Week @ the Library.”  Strategic Library Jan 2018.

“Maximizing Study Abroad.” Language Magazine, May 2018, p. 18-21.

The Role of Multilingualism in Global Citizenship: “Many Languages, One World” in Developing Responsible Global Citizenship Through Cultures and Languages Across the Curriculum (CLAC): Selected Papers from the 2016 CLAC Conference (July 2018)

“The Romance Advantage: The Significance of the Romance Languages as a Pathway to Multilingualism.” TPLS: Theory and Practice in Language Studies v. 8 no 10, October 2018.

  • Featured in (in reverse chronological order) —

Au Salon du bilinguisme, la fierté de parler plusieurs langues (Nov 2018)

Comment encourager le bilinguisme à la maison (Oct 2018)

Kathleen Stein-Smith named a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes académiques (Jan 2018)

  • Personal Engagement (in reverse chronological order)

Enjoying ‘The Nutcracker’ at the New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center (Dec 2018)

Kathy at the Delacroix Exhibit at the Met (Nov 2018)

French Language and Culture around the World — International Education Week (Nov 2018)

Visiting Parks, Gardens, and Versailles at the Met in NYC (May 2018)

Attending “The Brain and the Benefits of Bilingualism” (May 2018)

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