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Member Blog: 2 Opportunities to Support Heritage Languages this October in Washington, DC

This is a featured guest blog post from JNCL-NCLIS member the Coalition of Community-Based Heritage Language Schools, written by Joy Peyton.

The Coalition of Community-Based Heritage Language Schools is very much looking forward to participating in the JNCL-NCLIS Advocacy Action Day and Networking Event in Washington, DC, on October 16, and the virtual Language Advocacy Days, on February 27 and 28, 2024 as a proud member and event sponsor. The Coalition is a nationwide initiative, established to connect, support, and advocate for community-based heritage language schools across the United States. We seek to ensure that these schools are a vital part of the national language learning landscape and are closely connected and collaborating with public and private schools and district and state language efforts and organizations. Being part of these JNCL-NCLIS advocacy events is a significant opportunity to promote this cause.

The JNCL-NCLIS Advocacy Action Day October 16 event will take place right after the Coalition of Community-Based Heritage Language Schools 10th annual conference, Friday and Saturday, October 13 and 14, also in Washington, DC, at American University. This is a fabulous opportunity to participate in the Community-Based Heritage Languages Schools conference and then continue to advocate for language learning opportunities in your district and state by meeting with Members of Congress and networking with significant leaders in these efforts during the JNCL-NCLIS Advocacy Action Day.

The conference is for program directors and administrators of community-based heritage language schools; members of the language communities involved in these schools; and directors and leaders in public, private, and charter schools who are interested in working with these schools. There will be opportunities to connect and converse with leaders of national language organizations in the United States and other countries, connect with colleagues working with community-based schools, and participate in workshops on the following topics:

  • Features of High-Quality Instruction

  • Using Technology Tools and Platforms in Instruction

  • Building Extensive Reading Practices in the Classroom

  • Early Childhood Education and Language Learning

  • Empowerment Through Collaboration: Motivating and Supporting Heritage Language Teachers

  • Engaging Teachers of Community-based Schools in Professional Development and Growth Opportunities

  • Administering a Heritage Language School: Successfully Leading a Team of Professionals and Volunteers

  • Creating Outreach Materials to Raise Awareness

Plenary speakers will address these topics:

  • Telling the Stories of Community-Based Language Schools in the United States – Dr. Shuhan Wang, ELE Consulting International; Chinese language Education, Asia Society

  • Supporting Sustainable Less Commonly Taught Community-Based Language Programs – Dr. Felix A. Kronenberg, National Less Commonly Taught Languages Resource Center (NLRC)

  • Motivating Students to Continue Language Development with the Seal of Biliteracy – Dr. Kristin J. Davin, University of North Carolina, Charlotte

A panel of Embassy and Foundation leaders will describe how they support heritage language speakers and community-based schools in the U.S.

A panel of students will talk about the importance of their community-based school, and their language proficiency in their lives, followed by comments by Montserrat Garibay, Deputy Secretary and Director for the Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA), U.S. Department of Education.

JNCL-NCLIS Executive Director, Amanda Seewald, will also share a presentation on language advocacy during one of the Coalition conference's important panels.

In addition to participating in our conference, you can visit us on Facebook and sign up to receive our newsletter. Also, make sure that your school, and those you know about, are documented here.

We would love to hear from you – your experiences with community-based heritage language schools and ways you would like to become involved. Write to us at



Established in 1972, the Joint National Committee for Languages (JNCL) and the National Council for Languages and International Studies (NCLIS) unites a national network of leading organizations and businesses comprised of over 300,000 language professionals to advocate for equitable language learning opportunities. Our mission is to ensure that Americans have the opportunity to learn English and at least one other language.


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