RIFLA Advocacy for Language Learning

Governor Raimondo signed the RI Seal of Biliteracy bills (S2735/H8178) into law on 6/15/16!

RI Seal of Biliteracy Legislative Updates

6/8/16: Senate Education & House H.E.W. recommend passage in concurrence.

6/1/16:  S2735 passed by the Senate!  6/2/16: H8178 passed by the House!  
5/27/16:  S2735 passed by the Senate Education Committee on 5/25/16!  Placed on Senate calendar for 6/1/16!
5/24/16: H8178 passed by House Health, Education, Welfare Committee on 5/18/16; S2735 scheduled for consideration by Senate Education Committee 5/25/16! Thank You, Muchas Gracias, Vielen Dank to Senator Juan M. Pichardo and RI State Representative Teresa Tanzi for your leadership on these bills!

The Importance of Advocating for Languages

In today's educational climate, with so much attention focused on "core" subjects, it is important for RIFLA to advocate for world language programs throughout the state. We are seeing a significant decline of program offerings across the state and at all levels. RIFLA has convened an Advocacy Team to raise the awareness of the importance of second language learning and to advocate for state-level leadership and coordination of language education efforts.

RIFLA's Advocacy Team participates in ACTFL's State Advocacy Team activities.  Our efforts were featured in the ACTFL State Advocacy Team Newsletter - Fall 2015 and RIFLA President Erin Papa presented at the 2015 Assembly of Delegates at ACTFL Convention in San Diego.

RIFLA's Action Plan

In alignment with the recommendations of the Rhode Island Roadmap to Language Excellence, RIFLA aims to:

  • Advocate for the establishment of a State Supervisor for Languages position at the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) for state-wide coordination of proficiency-based (aligned to the 2012 ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines) K-16 articulated world language and dual language education programs
  • Provide targeted professional development for world language educators aligned to the ACTFL World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages 
  • Advocate for and advise districts on the development of proficiency-based K-12 articulated world language and dual language education programs

The RIFLA board is hopeful that our advocacy efforts will raise awareness of the importance and value of our language programs, but we can't do it alone. We need the support of parents, teachers, politicians, business people, and other language organizations to really make our voice heard and keep our programs alive. See the tips below to learn how you can support the cause.

RIFLA Position Statements

RIFLA Position Statement on American Sign Language (ASL) - March 2016

Why are these programs so important?


Ways You Can Help Save and Promote Language Programs 

Parents

  • Request that your district offer foreign language programs at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.
  • Attend school committee meetings to question cuts when foreign language programs are in jeopardy.
  • Write to your districts superintendent and school committee to demonstrate your support.
  • Encourage your child to continue language study beyond the beginning levels.
  • Encourage your child to use his/her language ability outside of school through travel or speaking to native speakers in the community.

Teachers

  • Alert RIFLA to cuts in language programs in your district.
  • Rally parent support when administrators eliminate programs.
  • Submit letters to the editor to inform the community of the importance of second language learning.
  • Encourage students to continue with their language study by making them aware of the careers in foreign language.

Politicians

  • Champion legislation that supports education, particularly world language and dual language instruction.
  • Support funding for world language education.
  • Become informed about the benefits for learning a second language and the fragility of the language programs in Rhode Island.

Business People

  • Make the RI Department of Education aware of your need for a workforce that is proficient in more than one language.
  • Request that local and state politicians support second language education and funding.

Language Organizations (i.e. AATSP, AATG, AATF, RITI, CLTA)

  • Write letters to the local newspapers informing the community of the importance of second language learning.
  • Rally your membership.
  • Call your local and state representatives to make your voice heard.
© RIFLA. Mailing address: RIFLA PO Box 200 Peace Dale, RI 02883
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