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ERIC Number: EJ1178703
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Mar
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2133
Towards a National Strategy for Capacity-Building in Heritage Languages and Spanish: A Response to "America's Languages: Investing in Language Education for the 21st Century"
Carreira, María M.
Hispania, v101 n1 p5-9 Mar 2018
The year 2017 saw the publication of one of the strongest endorsements of language education on record: "America's Languages: Investing in Language Education for the 21st Century" (henceforth "America's Languages"). Commissioned by a bipartisan group of members of Congress and authored by the Commission on Language Learning of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, this report advocates for building foreign language capacity and outlines a national strategy for expanding language education so as to "improve access to as many languages as possible for people of every region, ethnicity, and socioeconomic background" (viii). At a time when foreign language enrollments are down, foreign languages are being devalued, and federal funding is uncertain, this ringing endorsement of language learning by one of the nations' oldest and most respected learned societies made an opportune arrival. "America's Languages" details both the substantial benefits of language learning as well the serious consequences of the nation's persistent foreign language deficit. Putting language education on par with English and math education, the report makes a persuasive case for languages to prospective students, parents, school administrators, policy makers, and publishers of educational materials. In terms of an investment strategy for the twenty-first century, it recommends building capacity in five areas: (1) teacher training; (2) public-private educational partnerships; (3) heritage languages; (4) Native American languages; and (5) study abroad. This article provides a response from by Maria M. Carreira, to "America's Languages." Carreira is a professor of Spanish at California State University, Long Beach and Co-director of the National Heritage Language Resource Center at UCLA. Her recent publications include a co-edited Routledge Handbook on heritage language education around the world, co-authored college textbooks, and "Voces: Latino Students on Life in the United States" (Praeger 2014). With her colleagues at UCLA, she has also created an online course for training heritage language teachers.
American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, Inc. 900 Ladd Road, Walled Lake, MI 48390. Tel: 248-960-2180; Fax: 248-960-9570; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A