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Entry Process

Program Entry Process


What do we mean by programs with exemplary practices? We mean school, college, university and community-based programs with efforts, initiatives, practices, reforms, innovations, etc. that are innovative, responsive to today’s learners, able to be replicated in programs around the country, and that directly address the two primary goals and, optionally, one or more focus practices identified in the America’s Langages report:.

Primary Goals:

  1. Improve access to language learning for all leaners in more languages

  2. Increase language learning effectiveness to meet all learner needs

Optional Themes:

  1. Promote teaching through professional development and recruitment

  2. Create and maintain partnership with private and public entities

  3. Support heritage languages and their persistence across generations

  4. Provide targeted support and programming for Native American languages

  5. Expand opportunities for overseas immersion and study abroad programs

For example:

  • A recruitment campaign aimed at a local heritage community

  • New on-line or blended courses to increase the number of more low-enrollment languages

  • Partnering with a local business to provide student internships.

  • Curricular reform focused on improving student outcomes

  • Increased language requirements

  • Making issues like translanguaging, social-emotional learning, and diversity more integral to the identity of the program

  • Setting goals for a more diversified teaching staff.

  • Faculty development aimed at teaching emergent bilinguals from heritage or Native American communities

  • Active partnerships with local businesses, heritage communities, state humanities councils, etc.

  • Partnership with a Native American school

  • Successful legislative effort at the state or local level

  • New study abroad funding of programs for minority populations

  • Post-program integration of study abroad students in home institution

  • Extending the opportunity to earn a Seal of Biliteracy to students outside the formal educational channels

  • integrating home language for new and first generation immigrants into dual language immersion programs.

  • Starting a program in a new immigrant or Native American Language

  • Establishing in-country internships attached to a study abroad program

How do we pick these?

We identify replicable, innovative and responsive programs with practices, efforts, initiatives, reforms, innovations, etc. aimed at Access & Excellence and optionally one or more of the recommendations of the America’s Languages report.

More specifically, the Guide features program with replicable practices addressing one or more of the following:

  • A proven tradition of innovative instruction that pays special attention to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, and marginalized bilinguals as well as monolinguals from disadvantaged urban and rural communities;

  • Transparency and accountability, with evidence of a proven record of clearly stated goals defined by the communities supporting the programs, with documented outputs of student language ability and cultural understanding;

  • An unrelenting focus on excellence in the selection and continuing education of teachers;

  • Creative partnering with organizations and initiatives within and outside of the language education community, business, government and NGOs;

  • Effective, consistent and respectful engagement and partnerships with heritage communities, schools, students and parents;

  • Effective, consistent and respectful engagement and partnerships with Native American communities, their schools, students, parents and elders;

  • Long term commitment to immersion learning with proven results, particularly in overseas language programs;

  • Recognition of both domestic as well as international contexts; and,

  • Innovative responsiveness to the needs of society and its learners who need and/or desire language ability.


Teachers, administrators, researchers and stakeholders well acquainted with language education locally and nationally are invited to nominate programs in their ken that conform to the Guide’s qualifications listed above. Programs are most welcome to self-identify for inclusion, provided they meet the qualifications. It is strongly advised that anyone making a nomination carefully review the programs already in the Guide (Explore the Guide) and pay special attention to the guidance above. 


This process entails entering the following information about the proposed program on the Nomination Form: Program Name, Institutional Home, Personal Contact & Email, and Theme(s) that distinguish the program and warrant its nomination.


Application Process

Why apply?  Innovative program developers across the profession are showing the way forward in language education. They deserve recognition and their work needs to be appreciated and adapted to meet the access and excellence challenges on the ground in each learning environment.  


Therefore, leaders of these programs are urged to apply by requesting and completing the Application Questionnaire that asks for detailed information on the program, hosting institution, and the goals of Access, Excellence as well as the prioritized themes of Teachers, Partnerships, Heritage Language Communities, Native American Communities, and Immersion in Multilingual Environments. Once completed, program directors submit the Application Questionnaire for evaluation by the Work Group (WG) and its fellows (ALFs) as to appropriateness for inclusion in the Guide.


Filling out the Application Questionnaire will take some time and effort, but the information requested will determine selection and make available to other programs through the SEARCH function concrete information on the designs and implementation strategies that can improve others efforts. It is critical that applicants pay particular attention to the ‘special sauce’ that enables enhanced access to their programs. 


Selection Process

Exemplary Programs and Practices to be entered in the Guide are selected by America’s Languages Working Group Members and Fellows on the basis of the qualification discussed and illustrated above.  The intent is to find clear and replicable examples of Access and Excellence, not to display the full range of such programs across the nation. The Guide is not intended to be comprehensive, but rather it is a dynamic display of programs and practices capable of attracting emulation and support.

The WG is responsible for quality control, which comprises random review of Application Questionnaire submission and selection, performed by a rotating sub-group of WG Members and Fellows.