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Advocacy Hub - Promoting German
Tips, tricks, information, and brochures that support your promotion of German language at all levels of instruction.

National Campaigns
General Audience
Decision Makers
Honor Societies

National Campaigns

Lead with Languages
Lead with Languages is a new ad campaign led by ACTFL launching in 2015.  The campaign strives to promote the importance of learning another language.  
Just Add German
Goethe-Institut's campaign supports teachers and students with materials, contests, webinars, social media, and a video gallery with animations and VIP testimonials.
Step into German
Enter the worlds of German music and Germany’s most popular sport, soccer. Goethe-Institut San Francisco offers student contests and events, as well as media, lesson activities, and other teaching resources.
Todo Alemán
Todo Alemán connects young people who speak English, Spanish, German or Portuguese and supports exciting projects in the US, Canada, Mexico, Spain, and Portugal.
Seal of Biliteracy
The Seal of Biliteracy is given by a school, school district, or state to high school graduates in recognition of demonstrated proficiency in two or more languages. Website includes a step-by-step guide on how to implement and updates from various states. 
National German Week
National German Week, the first week in October, provides a platform for recognizing the many contributions of Germans to the modern world and an opportunity to highlight great German programs in public and private schools across the country.
National Foreign Language Week
Increase visibility of your program with this great opportunity to celebrate languages with your classes, your department, and your school. Held in March, celebrations focus on informing the community of need for and importance of foreign language study. 
International Education Week
Promote exchange and celebrate the benefits of international education. Provides an excellent opportunity for cross-departmental collaboration. Find suggestions, resources, and links at the US Department of State.

General Audience

AATG Advocacy Survey Results: Some Individual Stories
AATG, 2006
Instructor responses to a survey on advocating for and promoting German programs. Shows what groups (parents, colleagues, etc.) respondents contact or collaborate with most often and provides example advocacy strategies.
Proficiency Levels by Language Difficulty
Camille Ryan, US Census Bureau, August 2013.
Graph showing classroom hours required to reach proficiency levels by language. Shows that German is relatively easy to learn.
Promoting a Language Proficient Society: What You Can Do
K. Marcos and J. Peyton, Eric Clearinghouse on Languages and Linguistics, April 2000
Offers tips for specific groups of stakeholders, such as teachers, parents, policy makers, administrators, and businesses, on how they can promote world languages.
Early Language Learning Research, White Paper Report
Early Advantage, January 2008 
Six principles on the benefits of early language learning supported by research and recognized experts in the field. Offered in a UK context, but the supporting details are relevant to US educators.
World Language Week as an Advocacy Opportunity
Jessica Clifford, Massachusetts Foreign Language Association
Ideas for activities and promotional strategies during World Language week in March. While the brochure applies to all languages, the same ideas are easily adapted for German.
Want to Boost Your Salary? Try Learning German
Susie Poppick, Money Magazine, June 4, 2014
Fluency in foreign language may increase your job options — and your paycheck. The study found that the pay premium for learning German was higher than the average, at 4%.  
The Liberal Arts Majors That Pay the Most
Lauren Weber, The Wall Street Journal, May 2014
Foreign languages and literatures top the list—article with infographic analyzing data on average salaries for different liberal arts majors from the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
The Science of Learning a New Language (and How to Use It)
Belle Beth Cooper,, May 2014
Article citing scholarly research in an examination of how children learn languages, and how adults can best go about learning a new language.
6 Multilingual Benefits That You Only Get If You Speak Another Language
Gabriela Kruschewsky,, June 2014
Easy to read article with quotes from readers of The Huffington Post on why knowing another language benefits them every day.
The Benefits of Learning a Foreign Language
Melissa Brown,, March 2014
Learning a foreign language nets various benefits beyond the obvious, including deeper general cognitive aptitude. This article uses research to argue that language education should be emphasized in the US.
Coke Exec Tells Students Liberal Arts Is Best Preparation for Business Careers
Brian Eckert, Washington and Lee University, April 2014
Senior vice president and chief public affairs officer for Coca-Cola, Clyde Tuggle, holds an undergraduate degree in German. He explains why companies like Coca-Cola look for liberal arts majors.
Johnson: What is a foreign language worth?
R.L.G., The Economist, March 2014
In a well-substantiated work, the author shows that students who are proficient in a language for which there is significant demand can earn a higher salary in the job market.
Study: Reading a Novel Changes Your Brain
Julia Ryan, The Atlantic, January 2014
Fiction is good for your brain! This study shows that college students experienced heightened connectivity in their left temporal cortexes after reading fiction.
Exposure to Two Languages Carries Far-reaching Benefits
Northwestern University, Science Daily, May 2009
This study cites evidence that people who can speak two languages are more adept at learning a new foreign language than their monolingual counterparts, and their bilingual advantage persists even when the new language is completely different from the languages they already know.
7 Reasons Why It's Good To Speak Another Language
Amanda L. Chan, The Huffington Post, June 2014
There is a multitude of research showing how speaking more than one language is also good for your health -- particularly, the health of your brain. This article explores 7 reasons.
Deutsch für mich ist..
Susanne Rinner, YouTube, Spring 2014
Students at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro talk about why studying German is important to them.
Language Learning Difficulty
Irene Thompson, About World, March 2014
Article discussing proficiency development and includes the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) of the Department of State’s guide on approximate learning expectations for languages.
Become an Effective Advocate in 8 Easy Steps
ACTFL, 1997
Key, practical advice on how to become a foreign language advocate in your community, with examples on how to implement the strategies.
Education Matters Learning World Languages to Prepare for College and Careers
Kentucky Educational Television, 2011
Hour-long video explores the importance of world language study in a global society where fluency in other languages and familiarity with other cultures are prerequisites for success. Focuses on Kentucky, but has application to all contexts.
Learning New Languages Helps the Brain Grow
Sarah Glynn, Medical News Today, October 2012
Article with synopsis of a medical study indicating that the learning languages allows the brain to stay in shape by causing certain parts of the brain to grow, including the hippocampus and three areas of the cerebral cortex.
Why learn German?
Business German, Language Institute TREFFPUNKT website
General facts and common arguments about why German is advantageous in the business world.
Why Study German?
Dartmouth University
Dartmouth University offers up-to-date, compelling arguments supporting the study of German.
Gute Gründe für Deutsch
DAAD, 2009
Article in German, geared toward an international audience with links to resources on German culture and the business and education sectors.
Modern Language Association Advocacy Kit
The Academic Workforce Advocacy Kit includes a set of reports and guidelines on faculty workload and staffing norms. AAUSC has distilled the links and info that is relevant to foreign language educators in their own Advocacy Tool Kit.
Association of Departments of Foreign Languages Tool Kit for Department Advocacy
Repository of links for use in advocating for world language programs at all levels.
National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition Resource Library
Although this organization is geared toward English language acquisition, the resource library includes access to many articles and publications on educating linguistically and culturally diverse students, including those learning German.
Advocating for German 
Shari Fox, MCTLC / MNAATG, 2011
Offers practical tips for cultivating a strong case for your German program. Also offers long-term prevention measures and detailed strategies to use when the German program is threatened.
German Day: Famous German Americans
Compilation of current and historical celebrities in the US who speak German or have German roots.
English Is Not Enough
Catherine Porter, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 2010
Treatise on the educational, civic, social, and economic benefits of ensuring that students in the US learn more than English, and continue their study through all levels. Subscription required to access article.
Adult Language Learners
Caitlan Carroll in Young Germany, November 27, 2013
Article highlights a recent study that challenges the idea that children can learn a language faster than adults.
What happens in the brain when you learn a language?
Alison Mackey The Guardian, September 4, 2014
Recent medical studies show learning a foreign language at any age has a visible, positive effect on the brain, including increased cognitive creativity and mental flexibilty.
For a Better Brain, Learn Another Language
Cody C. Delistraty, The Atlantic, October 17, 2014
Not only fluent speakers but also language learners reap many cognitive advantages, such as increased self-awareness and improved multitasking skills. Includes links to recent studies cited.
Treating Language as a Strength: The Benefits of Bilingualism
Theresa Deussen, Education Northwest, December 18, 2014
The article draws upon recent studies and legislative changes in a push to reframe the conversation about English learners with a positive spin. Simultaneously, it calls for an increased emphasis on language education.
Bilinguals More Efficient at Higher-Level Brain Functions, Study Says
Nicole Akoukou Thompson,
New research suggests that bilinguals likely have the "bilingualism advantage," meaning they're more efficient at language processing and other tasks.
A bilingual brain is prepped for more than a second language
Lisa Seachrist Chiu, ScienceNews, December 31, 2014
A new study finds that bilingual people make efficient decisions on word choices, neural exercise that may protect the aging brain. The article leverages this study to support early language immersion.
Language skills provide job advantages
Duane Emery, Lanthorn, January 14, 2015
Article in the student newspaper for Grand Valley State University in Michigan features quotes from instructors and students advocating the job market advantages to learning a language, including German.
Keeping actively bilingual makes our brains more efficient at relaying information
Christos Pliatsikas,, January 12, 2015
In-depth but easy to understand scientific explanation of the brain benefits of speaking two languages on a daily basis over many years, including increased brain function efficiency.
Going Global
Loudoun County Public Schools TV, February 2015
What does "going global" mean? Teachers and educators at the world languages and social science departments in Loudoun County Public Schools in Virginia offer tips and share their programs as examples on how to prepare students for the global world.
Benefits of Being Bilingual Include Brain Boosting Power
Huffington Post Canada, Joy D'Souza, July 16, 2015
Research from 2014 shows multilingual speakers exercise their brains more than monolinguals, which can help their brains age at a slower rate and delay onset of Alzheimer’s.


Language Study in the Age of Globalization
The brochure highlights reasons why studying a language is life-enriching and improves career prospects. It also provides information on what to expect from study at university, and what language to learn. The brochure is intended for university students. Copies of the brochure are available at no charge at
Knowing Other Languages Brings Opportunities
MLA’s brochure is intended for HS students to promote the study of foreign languages. Available for distribution by faculty members, advisers, and career officers in secondary schools. Copies of the brochure are available at no charge from
Twelve Kinds of Kids who Love Learning German
Michaela Claus-Nix, South Forsyth High School 
Geared toward K-12 students and offers fun reasons why they might want to start learning German—like chocolate, fast cars, or access to a secret language. Can be adapted to suit your program. 
Career Possibilities for German Majors
University of Georgia
Offers possible career titles, as well as potential employers for German majors with links to job searching sites.
6 Ways to Motivate your Students in the Foreign Language Classroom
Denise Leitch,, April 2013
Helpful tips and concrete strategies for motivating students and getting them to participate in the language classroom.
Why I study German
University of California Berkeley
UC Berkeley German majors talk about their reasons for studying German and why it is a great decision.
What can I do with my Language Major?
Cawley Career Education Center, Georgetown University
Provides career ideas and outlines a core set of skills sought after by employers in a wide range of occupational settings. Includes snapshots of post-graduation activities.
15 reasons why you should learn German 
Studying in Germany, January 2014
Geared toward the language learner, the website offers reasons that focus on how learning German can help students “Earn”, “Think”, and “Know.”
Bridging the World
Goethe-Institut Australia
A collection of short essays from learners of German around the world. They describe the positive influence that learning German has had on their personal and professional development. Also includes a list of 10 reasons to learn German.
German for Hire
German for Hire brings students from Germany enrolled at an American university as guest speakers to elementary, middle or high school in or near San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, New York, and Washington DC.
German as the official language of the USA?
Bastian Sick, Spiegel Online, May 2004
Explores the myth that German was almost an official language in the US, and offers a list of German words adopted into English. Article available in English and German.
Can Language Learning Help You Achieve Your Dreams?
Amelia Friedman and Kirsten Craig, The Huffington Post, October 1, 2014
Directed at college students, article offers compelling and well-reasoned arguments on why learning languages can help college students meet their long-term personal and career goals.
Classroom Posters: Language Learning by the Numbers
Show your students exactly why learning another language will make their lives better by printing and hanging one (or all) of our free world languages classroom posters in your classroom. You can print in color or black and white on 8x11 or 11x17.
7 Benefits Of Speaking A Foreign Language
Amanda Chatel,, December 9, 2014
A light-hearted, sometimes humorous look at the benefits of learning a language that would be most important to a young adult, including being smarter and being in the know. With accompanying gifs.
Just Add German Career Video @ Lufthansa
Just Add German, April 2, 2015
Take a tour of the Lufthansa offices in New York, which illustrates that speaking German in a German based company like Lufthansa gives you many advantages and the opportunity to communicate with German customers and colleagues.


The ABCs of Elementary School Foreign Language Programs: A Guide for Parents
AATF National Bulletin, January 2003
Offers a brief explanation of a FLES program, four models, and explains how parents can support and advocate for language programs in their local schools. 
Why study languages? Making the case to parents 
Siobhan Mills and Hariet Roser, Routes into Languages, University of Southampton 
Detailed guide on how to get support for language education from parents in the UK. Includes key arguments for world language education and concrete strategies and methods for getting parents more involved.
Tips on How to Turn Open House into an Advocacy Opportunity
Christina Berry, Massachusetts Foreign Language Association 
Offers practical tips and strategies on advocating for your language program at Back to School Night or Open House.
Why your Kids Should Learn a Second Language
Early Childhood Education Zone, August 2014
A collection of infographics on the cognitive benefits of early language learning and the long-term benefits of being bilingual
The Language of Life: Five ways language learning will make your child smarter
Angela Jackson, The News Tribune, September 22, 2014 
Written by a parent for parents, the article offers five benefits of langauge learning, including cognitive, character, and future economic benefits.
Monolingual Parents Supporting Children's Language Learning
Nick Jaworski, Chicago NOW, December 6, 2014 
By a parent for parents, the author supplies parents with tips on how to encourage their children to learn a language, even if the parents can't speak a word.

Decision Makers

Languages for All? Final Report
Marty Abbot, Richard D. Brecht, et al, 2014
The Final Report and Action Plan on national world language policy is the result of a year-long collaborative effort on data and information collection as well as a national and international dialogue on language needs and capacity in the US and other predominantly English-speaking countries.
The Benefits of Second Language Study Research Findings with Citations
NEA Research, December 2007
Information with supporting citations and statistics promoting the benefits and advantages of world language study. Also includes an extensive bibliography with useful links. Good resource that digs a bit deeper into more varied resources.
Ideas for Foreign Language Department Visibility
Massachusetts Foreign Language Association
Article has two parts: Ideas for Foreign Language Department Visibility within the District and Ideas for Foreign Language Department Visibility within the Community. 
Checklist for Advocacy for Threatened Programs and Departments
American Association of University Supervisors and Coordinators
Offers key strategies and specific actions to take if a college or university language program is under threat.
Foreign Language for Foreign Policy?
Russell A. Berman, Inside Higher Ed, November 2010
Analysis of the remarks of Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, at the 2010 ACTFL conference—the article exposes weaknesses in Haass’ argument for emphasizing Arabic or other perceived strategic languages, providing an important counterargument on why all languages are important.
DAAD Releases six-year International Strategy
The PIE News, February 2014
The DAAD’s Strategy 2020 outlines goals for the future including increasing scholarships for foreign and domestic students, supporting German institutions to meet future challenges in global education, and significantly growing inbound enrollments
Germany’s new strategies in the race for international students
ICEF Monitor, April 2013
This article explores new strategies Germany is using to maintain its position as a leading study destination for EU and non-EU students.
U.S. Secretary of Education Speech
US Education Department, January 13, 2015
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on January 12, 2015, laid out a bold vision for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), including a comment that foreign language is essential, not a luxury.

Honor Societies

High School National German Honor Society
Delta Epsilon Phi (ΔΕΦ) National Honor Society for High School Students of German recognizes the outstanding academic achievement of learners of German. The organization was founded to reward scholastic achievement in the study of German and to promote interest in the study of German language, literature, and civilization.
College University National Germany Honor Society, Delta Phi Alpha
Delta Phi Alpha recognizes excellence in the study of German and provides an incentive for higher scholarship. The society promotes the study of the German language, literature and civilization. Delta Phi Alpha provides chapter grants and individual student scholarships.
Middle and Jr. High School National German Honor Society
Junior Delta Epsilon Phi, (Jr. ΔΕΦ), the National Junior Honor Society for Students of German, recognizes the outstanding academic achievement of learners of German in middle and junior high schools.
Community College German Honor Society
Epsilon Phi Delta (ΕΦΔ) National Honor Society for Community College Students of German recognizes the outstanding academic achievement of learners of German at community colleges across the US.
National German Exam for High School Students
The AATG National German Exam provides an excellent opportunity to highlight student success and promote the German program in your school. Recognizing students at special award ceremonies or school-wide honors programs are wonderful opportunities for positive publicity for German programs.
Goethe-Institut Award of Excellence
High school students from over 2,000 high schools in the US and Canada can compete for all-expense-paid trips to Germany. Since its inception in 1991, approximately 1.5 million students have participated.
National Collegiate Foreign Language Honor Society, Alpha Mu Gamma
Alpha Mu Gamma honors college students for outstanding achievement in foreign language study. The organization offers annual scholarships and has many ideas for raising visibility of language programs. 

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