This page contains activities, assignments, readings, and resources for teaching and learning about world language advocacy and program development.

Advocacy Objectives

  • Students will advocate for the importance of world language learning in the 21st century.
  • Students will educate community members about the importance and benefits of long sequences of well-articulated language learning that begin in elementary school.

Guiding Questions

  • What is advocacy?
  • Why is advocacy so important?
  • How can language teachers take advantage of formal opportunities to advocate for language education?
  • How can language teachers take advantage of informal opportunities to advocate for language education?
  • How can language teachers enlist students, parents, colleagues, and community members in advocacy efforts?
  • How can language teachers CREATE advocacy opportunities in the course of their daily activities?

Key Principles of Advocacy

Are your efforts purposeful, cultural, influential, credible, and visible?

  • Communication - Produce a constant stream of PURPOSEFUL communication that advocates for early language learning, creates awareness of both the immediate and long-term benefits of language study, and highlights student and program successes

  • Culture - Create CULTURAL connections and experiences for community members

  • Connections - Become INFLUENTIAL by sharing meaningful ideas and information that shifts others' perspectives regarding language learning

  • Comparisons - Ensure that the information you share is CREDIBLE by reading professional blogs, organizational newsletters, and current research that distinguishes between facts and fiction about language learning.

  • Communities - Make yourself, your students, and your program VISIBLE by inviting the community into your classroom, and taking language learning into the community


1: Advocacy Triangle

2: Advocacy Quiz

3: Advocacy Role Plays

4: Elevator Advocacy


Advocacy Brochure

Sample Brochure - Early Language Learning (CAL): Why, How, & When Should My Child Learn a Second Language?
Sample Brochures - Language-specific (JFLALC): Why Learn Japanese?
Sample Brochure - General Language Study (CAL): Working Together to Build a Multilingual Society (Center for Applied Linguistics)
Sample Brochure - College-level (MLA): Language Study in the Age of Globalization--The College-level Experience
Sample Brochure: Knowing Other Languages Brings Opportunities (Modern Language Association)

Readings & Graphic Organizers

ACTFL Position Statements

Benefits of Second Language Study (with research-based citations)

Change & the Walls of Resistance - This graphic demonstrates the key role that perspective plays in the change process and illustrates the high cost of a major shift in perspective

Where Do Change Initiatives Break Down? - Knowing-Doing Gap - A great synopsis of some of the factors that keep people who know what to do from doing it.

Rhetorical Triangle - This graphic depicts 3 key elements that must be considered when designing advocacy efforts designed to produce change

Stages of Change - This graphic lists the stages of change


ACTFL's Foreign Language Advocacy Page

Basic Principles of Visual Design - A one-page PDF handout that outlines the basic principles of graphic design (proximity, alignment, repetition, and contrast) from The Non-designer's Design Book by Robin Williams that are explained in the site above.

CRAP Design Principles & Other Tips for Creating Eye-catching Banner Graphics

Tech Tools

What do you wish parents, administrators, colleagues, and community members understood about learning a language? About your program? About your students? THESE are the messages you should consider having students create in the form of:

Coloring Books
Postcards - Have students write why learning a language is fun or important on the back of a postcard and then distribute them to people in your neighborhood or community. This can be done electronically (Idea from Jennie Frazier)
Promotional Items (FDs Flickr Toys)
Slide Shows
T-shirts (