March 5-11 is the 60th anniversary of Alpha Mu Gamma’s National Foreign Language Week. This is a great opportunity for those of us concerned with the state of foreign language education in the United States to reflect on where we’ve been, celebrate the good work we are currently doing, and share ideas on how we can make our field better in the coming year.
National Foreign Language Week started in 1957 as a way to raise awareness of the importance of foreign language study in the United States. That message has only become more important as immigration has reached historic levels, the economy has become more international in nature, and the political climate has put a focus on world affairs.
We feel this is so important that, in conjunction with our own 25th anniversary, we’ve proclaimed the entire month of March as Language Learning Month.
This means that throughout the month, we’ll be celebrating the vitality of language study with educators from across the country through our social media accounts, our blog, and activities that we have curated to help teachers echo the importance of language learning in their own classrooms.
Those activities are included in our weekly calendars, available here. Every day features a classroom activity that engages students not only in language learning content, but also in the crucial nature of appreciating foreign language skills in the 21st century. Be sure to check the page every week for the updated calendar before you make your week’s lesson plans.
There are many opportunities to support language learning throughout the year, but National Foreign Language Week and Language Learning Month are special ways to rededicate ourselves to our common mission of preparing students for the interconnected world in which they live and to which they will have to contribute.