top of page

Wed, Sep 22



Our National Language Educator Shortage: The Urgent Need For World Language, Bilingual, and Dual Immersion Educators

Registration is Closed
See other events
Our National Language Educator Shortage:  The Urgent Need For World Language, Bilingual, and Dual Immersion Educators
Our National Language Educator Shortage:  The Urgent Need For World Language, Bilingual, and Dual Immersion Educators

Time & Location

Sep 22, 2021, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EDT


About the event


The Joint National Committee for Languages (JNCL) formally invites you to attend the virtual congressional briefing: 

Our National Language Educator Shortage: 

The Urgent Need For World Language, Bilingual, and Dual Immersion Educators 

Wednesday, September 22, 2021 

1PM ET - 2PM ET on Zoom | Details provided after registration

Description: According to data published by the U.S. Department of Education, foreign language is the subject area with the fourth highest teacher shortage in the nation. Recent reports note that 58% of states and U.S. territories have experienced a shortage of qualified educators to teach World Language and Bilingual Education classes over the past 20 years. This briefing aims to educate the America’s Languages Caucus on the most pressing challenges facing the recruitment and retention of World Language, Bilingual, and Dual Immersion educators. Experts will discuss the extent of the shortage; the ramifications of this shortage for the nation’s economy and national defense; and how lawmakers can address this decades-long shortage, including incentives to recruit and retain language educators. 

Featured Speakers: 

America's Languages Caucus Co-Chairs: 

The Honorable David Price (D-NC) and The Honorable Don Young (R-AK)

Panel Moderator: Amanda Seewald, President, JNCL-NCLIS 


Martha Hernandez, Executive Director, Californians Together (CA)

Michael Bacon, Director, Department of Dual Language, Office of Teaching and Learning, Portland Public Schools (OR)

Pete Swanson, Assistant Spanish Professor,  United States Air Force Academy (CO)

Peter Swasnson

Assistant Spanish Professor, united States Air Force Academy (CO)

Dr. Pete Swanson is Associate Professor of Spanish at the United States Air Force Academy. He is an international expert on the shortage of language teachers. He is Past President of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages and is the author of more than 100 publications focusing on issues revolving around the teaching of languages. His upcoming book with Dr. Jean W. LeLoup focuses on teaching languages during disruptive times and is expected to be published in early 2022.

Michael Bacon

Dual Language Director, Portland Public Schools

Michael Bacon works in Portland Public Schools (PPS) as the Director of the Department of Dual Language overseeing program, professional and curriculum development for 16 dual language immersion (DLI) programs in Spanish, Japanese, Mandarin, Russian, and Vietnamese across 26 schools K-12. He also directs district wide efforts to articulate and develop K-12 World Language programs along with Native Language Literacy in Spanish and Somali.  Seven years ago he proposed and began the development of an alternative licensure program called the Dual Language Teacher Residency program that resulted in over 100 licensed highly bilingual teachers teaching in PPS DLI and World Language classrooms.  From 2014-2017 he collaborated with the Rand Corporation and American Councils to conduct a federally funded (IES) funded research project on the Effect of DLI on Student Achievement in PPS resulting in three professional journal articles including the ACTFL Foreign Language Annals and numerous presentations.  He directed the K-12 portion of the NSEP funded K-16 Oregon Chinese Flagship grant in collaboration with the University of Oregon and led a district coordinated 21 Confucius Classroom consortium.  Michael served on the ACTFL board of directors for 3 years and prior served as the chairperson of ACTFL’s Dual Language Immersion Special Interest Group.  He regularly presents at national professional conferences and workshops on DLI curriculum, instruction, assessment, programs and research.  As a teacher he taught English in Japan for three years in a junior high school and then Japanese as a world language at middle and high school in Portland.  He then taught Japanese and Social Studies for eight years in immersion designing, planning and implementing innovative practices and curriculum that continue today.

Martha Hernandez

Executive Director, Californians Together

Martha Hernández is the Executive Director for Californians Together, a coalition of 25

statewide professional, parent and civil rights organizations focused on improving

schooling for English learners by promoting equitable educational policy.  Her 42 years

of public school experience includes serving as the Assistant Superintendent of

Educational Services for the Fillmore Unified School District, as Curriculum Director for

the Ventura County Office of Education and as a district administrator, principal, staff

developer, and bilingual and special education teacher in various districts. She was also

the Director of Bilingual Teacher Training at California Lutheran University and served

as past president of California Association for Bilingual Education. She has served on

numerous state advisory committees including the Instructional Quality Commission, the

English Learner Progress Indicator (ELPI) Workgroup and the EL Roadmap Advisory

Committee. In 2014, she was appointed by the State Board of Education to serve as

the Co-Chair of the California ELA/ELD Curriculum Framework and Evaluation Criteria

Committee. Her work now focuses on biliteracy with an expansion of the California Seal

of Biliteracy, the implementation of Californian’s new English learner policy, the

California English Learner Roadmap and effective literacy for emerging bilingual and

English learner students.


Thank you for considering joining us for this timely and necessary conversation. 

Share this event

bottom of page