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.
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).
- the FLAVA (Foreign Language Association of Virginia) conference, in Williamsburg, Virginia
- the MaFLA (Massachusetts Foreign Language Association) conference, in Springfield, Massachusetts
- the NYSAFLT (New York State Association of Foreign Language Teachers) annual conference, in Saratoga Springs, New York
- 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.
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.
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!
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.
- Email — email@example.com
- Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/kathleen.steinsmith
- Twitter — @KathySteinSmith
- WordPress — https://kathleensteinsmith.wordpress.com/
- As Chair of the AATF Commission on Advocacy, I also invite you to join the conversation.
- Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/AATFcommissiononadvocacy/
- Twitter — @AATFComAdvocacy
- Web — http://www.utm.edu/staff/globeg/advofr.shtml (created and maintained by Founding Chair, Dr. Robert “Tennessee Bob” Peckham)
Languages do matter!