March 3, 2022
March 2, 2022
HB 340: Position of the Foreign Language Association of Virginia (FLAVA)
The Foreign Language Association understands the need to differentiate educational paths for Virginia students based on their talents, interests, and goals. Creating various curricular paths for students who aspire to the advanced studies high school diploma can serve this goal. However, we oppose HB 340, as it clearly targets world language courses.
HB 340 unnecessarily establishes a curricular opposition between world language courses and career and technical education. It unfairly targets courses that teach skills–communication and cross-cultural awareness–of use to all Virginians, no matter their career orientation. All Virginians live in a multilingual and multicultural society within a global economy. The Virginia Chamber of Commerce in its Blueprint Virginia 2030 recognized this when it supported world language instruction as an essential part of workforce education. Virginia graduates are expected to “build connections and value for interaction with diverse communities,” one goal of world languages courses. Moreover, all world languages courses teach students interpersonal and communication skills, essential in any workplace.
Because they teach such necessary skills, the Foreign Language Association of Virginia opposes any advanced studies high school diploma that does not contain world language components.
Click on the links below to get involved.
Learn what laws are being proposed that affect world language education in the Commonwealth.
Contact lawmakers to support world language education! We also encourage you to post on your social media accounts and tag any referred bill’s patron and Education Committee members.
Join us to stand up for WL legislation. Your voice matters!
If you don’t know what to say/write, FLAVA has an Advocacy folder with resources, including letters others have sent and a template for phone calls to legislators.
There is good news this week!. HB 1947 was defeated in the SOL and SOQ subcommittee of the House Education committee on Monday morning. This was due to the actions so many of you took to oppose the bill. To all of you who submitted comments, called offices, e-mailed delegates, and spoke at the meetings, congratulations and many, many thanks. This has been an especially difficult year for all of you, so it is very indicative of your passion for your work that you took the time to act on short notice. Current and future Virginia students will benefit from what you have done.
I will follow up soon with the next steps FLAVA should take to keep languages in the forefront of the legislators’ concerns. One immediate thing is to collect the comments that you all made about this bill. I would very much appreciate it if you would send a copy of your comments–written or oral–to email@example.com. And if you have suggestions of next steps to take, please send those as well.
Again, congratulations and many thanks!
Advocacy Chair, Foreign Language Association of Virginia
FLAVA advocates for world language education on behalf of members at the local, state, and federal levels. FLAVA is a member organization of JNCL-NCLIS, NECTFL, SCOLT, and ACTFL and advocates through these organizations as well. For information or help with advocacy, please contact the FLAVA Advocacy Chair, Sharon Scinicariello, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Everything you need to know about advocacy including ideas and resources can be found on this site and also on ACTFL’s advocacy page or JNCL-NCLIS’s website. Additionally, FLAVA has an Advocacy folder with resources at bit.ly/FLAVAadvocacy.
Advocacy and Social Networking: Many online opportunities educate the public about the benefits and issues surrounding language learning. To stay informed, you can easily “follow,” “like,” or “friend” FLAVA, Discover Languages, ACTFL, Lead with Languages, and other organizations on social media like Facebook or Twitter. Follow FLAVA Advocacy on Twitter at @SGS_RVA. Then you can also share this information with your friends, students, and parents. Please do so, as languages are a vital part of our existence.