Language Matters

Kathleen Stein Smith, Ph.D

Monthly Archives: November 2019

Kathy’s Fall Update — 2019

Kathy’s Fall Update –2019

This Fall has been a wonderful opportunity to talk about important issues with language educators and other stakeholders and supporters from my region and from across the country, and to discuss the role of advocacy in fostering language learning and the use of other languages in addition to English in the workplace and in our society.

In addition to advocacy, I have had the opportunity to present on the role and status of French in the US and on the power of the immersion approach in developing language skills and cultural knowledge.

Themes that remain central to the conversation include the importance of language use beyond the classroom, of an early start to language learning, and of opportunity for all interested students to learn another language.

Themes that it would be useful to highlight yet further moving forward include the diversity of our own US cultural identity both past and present, and the importance of partnerships — especially with parents and communities.

Fall update mashup 11-28-19

Conference Presentations

I am so happy to share with you that, in recent weeks, I have had the opportunity to visit with dedicated French and foreign language educators, advocates, and stakeholders, attending and presenting at 4 conferences — 3 state conferences and one national conference (in chronological order).

  1. the FLAVA (Foreign Language Association of Virginia) conference, in Williamsburg, Virginia
  2. the MaFLA (Massachusetts Foreign Language Association) conference, in Springfield, Massachusetts
  3. the NYSAFLT (New York State Association of Foreign Language Teachers) annual conference, in Saratoga Springs, New York
  4. the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) 2019 annyal convention, in Washington, DC.

I especially appreciated the emphasis on advocacy at the FLAVA conference and the importance of French and of the Franco-American heritage at the MaFLA conference — along with the opportunity to meet and to talk with members of AATF state chapters in both Virginia and Massachusetts, as well as the opportunity to meet and to interact with so many educators from my local NYC Metro region at the NYSAFLT conference. In addition to my own presentation, highlights of the ACTFL convention included the Embassy of French luncheon, the opportunity to attend several sessions in French, and visiting with friends at the AATF and Embassy of France tables in the exhibit hall.

In addition to having being able to listen to both the ideas and the concerns of dedicated foreign language education professionals on advocacy and on foreign language learning in general, I was honored to have been invited to present at all 4 conferences — on “Unlocking the World for Our Students: The Role of Foreign Language Advocacy,” “French Language and Francophone Culture in the US/Le Français: langue mondiale, langue locale and a brief presentation on Que fait l’AATF pour la promotion du français?,” both en français, “World Language Advocacy: Opening Doors to Connections Locally and Globally,” and “Building Language Skills through Immersion,” respectively.

Publications

Fall publications include “Classes Duo Paris/Knoxville, an Integrative Learning Experience: A Case Study,” in the September issue of TPLS: Theory and Practice in Language Studies. Special thanks to co-author Monique Y. Wells for her collaboration on this article, but most importantly, for her work in bringing young students from 2 cultures together through the arts.

I am delighted to have 2 articles, “Building on Historic Foundations,” and “French Teaching in the US,” included in the November issue of Language Magazine. Many thanks to the entire editorial team.

Marquis award

News

I was honored to be presented with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award in September.

In November, I participated in an International Education Week read-aloud, reading the passage on the cup of tea and the madeleine from Proust and attended the J. Michael Adams lecture and conversation at the United Nations.

Fall 2019 milestones include more than 20,000 views of my article, “Foreign Language Classes becoming more scarce,” published in The Conversation, over 3,500 downloads of my book, The U.S. Foreign Languages Deficit: Strategies for Maintaining a Competitive Edge in a Globalized World, over 36,000 views of my blog, “Language Matters,” along with the second anniversaries of my participation in the NAFSA e-seminar on, “Global Learning and Foreign Languages: More Than Just Talk,” an my interview en francais on “L’Avenir du francais” on Radio-Canada. I can hardly believe that — in early December — it will have been 8 years since I earned my doctorate!

Thank you/Merci!

Many thanks to all of you who have read my articles and other publications and who attended my conference sessions. Special thanks to esteemed co-author Monique Y. Wells, to AATF Eastern Massachusetts and AATF-VA, and to the FLAVA, MaFLA, NYSAFLT, and ACTFL conference organizers for having invited me to present and for their warm welcome and hospitality.

Best wishes to all my friends for the conclusion of the Fall semester and Happy Holidays!

Please keep in touch!

  • Please feel free to reach out to me directly.
  1. Email — kathysteinsmith@gmail.com
  2. Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/kathleen.steinsmith
  3. Twitter@KathySteinSmith
  4. WordPresshttps://kathleensteinsmith.wordpress.com/
  • As Chair of the AATF Commission on Advocacy, I also invite you to join the conversation.
  1. Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/AATFcommissiononadvocacy/
  2. Twitter — @AATFComAdvocacy
  3. Webhttp://www.utm.edu/staff/globeg/advofr.shtml (created and maintained by Founding Chair, Dr. Robert “Tennessee Bob” Peckham)

Languages do matter!

 

 

Kathy presenting at ACTFL 2019 in Washington, DC

I am so happy to have had the opportunity to present at the 2019 ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) convention in Washington, DC.

ACTFL 1

My session topic, “Building Language Skills through Immersion,” reflects my wholehearted belief that there is a critical need to develop a sustainable multilingual society comprised of both heritage language speakers and entirely new multilinguals. Essential to this process are language learning, use of languages in addition to English in the workplace and in our society, and advocacy by language stakeholders including educators, business and government, and – most importantly – parents and communities.

I remain convinced that the benefits of language learning and multilingualism have been clearly demonstrated in terms of personal, professional, and societal benefits, as well as in the development of a global citizenship mindset and values, as has the importance of an early start to language learning.

In order to bring these benefits to the greatest number of learners, especially low-income students who have been shown to draw the most benefit from bilingualism, it is essential to increase access to continued and sequential foreign language from the earliest grades – and to prioritize public schools, available to all, and immersion, the methodology most clearly linked to successful learning outcomes, as our primary foreign language advocacy goal.

In addition to my own presentation, I attended many interesting sessions on instructional practices in DLI classrooms, les cultures francophones, business French as a career asset for students, developing a legislative impact plan, the importance of feedback in the foreign language classroom, and on dual language and academic outcomes.

actfl 3

I especially appreciated the presence of French throughout the day, attending two sessions and the luncheon, all en français, as well as the opportunity to hear multiple languages spoken all around me.

A personal conference highlight was the Embassy of France Luncheon with keynote speaker Ambassador Philippe Étienne. I also enjoyed visiting with old AATF and MLOW friends and making new ones.

ACTFL 2

The setting in the nation’s capital and the venue in the imposing Walter E. Washington Convention Center only added to the experience of this well-organized and well-attended conference.

Many thanks to ACTFL for the opportunity, and special thanks to all those who attended my session.

It was a memorable weekend.

Languages do matter!

Over 20,000 views — Thank you!!!

Over 20,000 views — Thank you all for taking the time to read my article, “Foreign languages becoming more scarce,” and many thanks to The Conversation.

foreign languages scarce

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

Languages do matter!

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!  🙂

new-book-09-21-16

“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.

LANGMAGNOVEMBER2019

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.

nysaflt 11-2-19 2

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!

nysaflt 11-1-19 5

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!