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The CAL Resources Archive was created to provide our visitors with access to older pages and content from our Web site that they may find useful. Please be aware that information within the CAL Resources Archive is historical in nature and will not be maintained or updated by CAL.

CAL Year of Languages Home Page

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CAL Press Release on Year of Languages

CAL Year of Languages Activities

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Learn more about CAL resources related to language and culture.

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Resources on heritage languages

Heritage Languages in America book cover
Heritage Languages in America: Preserving a National Resource

CAL digest series book cover
CAL Digest Series 4: Foreign and Heritage Language Education



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CAL Activities

September 2005

The Year of Languages focus in September is promotion of the learning and maintenance of heritage languages. The Center for Applied Linguistics has several heritage language projects and extensive resources available.

Alliance for the Advancement of Heritage Languages
“Heritage language speakers, who include immigrant, refugee, and indigenous groups, contribute to the linguistic and cultural richness in the United States.”
(Alliance for the Advancement of Heritage Languages, n.d.)

The Center for Applied Linguistics participates in the Alliance for the Advancement of Heritage Languages with a goal “to promote the conservation and development of the heritage language resources of this country as part of a larger effort to educate citizens who can function professionally in English and other languages.” The Alliance recognizes that the United States has a critical need for individuals who have high proficiency in both English and one or more additional languages. To meet this need, the Alliance engages in professional development, public relations and promotional activities, information exchange, research, and policy development.

You can help!

Profiles of Heritage Language Programs

In accordance with the Alliance's goals, CAL is compiling profiles of heritage language programs across the United States, which will be made available on the Web. Program administrators can fill out our Heritage Language Program Profile to nominate their program for inclusion and help us create this useful resource.

For more information about the Alliance for the Advancement of Heritage Languages, please visit the Web site at To join the Alliance's email list, send your request to Scott McGinnis.


CAL Services for Schools and School Districts
CAL Services supports professional development in several schools with heritage language programs. For the Magdalena (NM) Schools' federally funded English Language Acquisition and Navajo Achievement Programs, CAL provides professional development for K–12 teachers and paraprofessionals. CAL also provides technical assistance on program design, curriculum development, assessment instruments, and instructional support. Curriculum development focuses on ESL programs and Navajo language and culture courses.

For more information about CAL Services professional development relating to heritage languages, contact Betty Ansin Smallwood at CAL.

Developing Standards for Learning Arabic in the United States
In response to the needs of the Arabic language teaching profession, a task force is developing standards for learning Arabic at all levels in the United States, from kindergarten through college. This effort is spearheaded by the National Capital Language Resource Center (NCLRC)—a consortium of The George Washington University, Georgetown University, and CAL—and a network of K–12 Arabic language teachers. Teachers, administrators, and linguists have worked steadily through 2004-2005 to develop standards for Arabic learning, guided by Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century (National Standards in Foreign Language Education Project, 1999). The Arabic standards will be included in the next edition of Standards for Foreign Language Learning, to be published by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. The standards will serve as a guide for developing age- and culturally appropriate curricula and materials for Arabic teaching. An Arabic translation of the Arabic standards will be available through NCLRC later this year. The task force was supported by the National Standards in Foreign Language Education Project, the American Association of Teachers of Arabic, and the National Middle East Language Resource Center.

For more information on the Arabic standards, contact Dora Johnson at CAL. For information on NCLRC, visit

English for Heritage Language Speakers
Many sectors of the U.S. government have expressed an urgent need for individuals with high levels of proficiency in both English and any of several critical languages (General Accounting Office, 2002). In response, CAL's English for Heritage Language Speakers project aims to help heritage speakers of critical languages develop their English proficiency to high levels, with a particular focus on language skills specific to the federal workplace. CAL will assist in recruitment of heritage language speakers to participate in the program, help to develop the curriculum for specially designed intensive English programs at two universities, monitor the progress of the students, and evaluate the success of the programs and participants. This project is funded by the National Security Education Program. For more information about CAL's English for Heritage Language Speakers project, contact Grace Burkart at CAL.

Spanish for Spanish Speakers
The Center for Applied Linguistics has produced a brochure for schools, school districts, school board members, Spanish teachers, and parents of Spanish-speaking students about preserving Spanish skills. The brochure describes the benefits of maintaining the Spanish language skills of native Spanish speakers, the reasons that Spanish for native speakers programs are so pertinent to society and education in the United States, and the characteristics of Spanish for native speakers programs. You can read the brochure online or order print copies

CAL also offers these resources on Spanish for native speakers:

Selecting Materials to Teach Spanish to Spanish Speakers
Paula Winke, Center for Applied Linguistics, and Cathy Stafford, Georgetown University, May 2002

Spanish for Native Speakers: Developing Dual Language Proficiency
Joy Kreeft Peyton, Vickie W. Lewelling, & Paula Winke, Center for Applied Linguistics, December 2001

Resource Guide Online: Teaching Spanish to Spanish Speakers
Ana Roca, Florida International University
Kathleen Marcos, ERIC Clearinghouse on Languages and Linguistics
Paula Winke, Center for Applied Linguistics

Alliance for the Advancement of Heritage Languages. (n.d.). Guiding principles of the Alliance. Retrieved September 26, 2005, from

General Accounting Office. (2002). Foreign languages: Human capital approach needed to correct staffing and proficiency shortfalls (GAO-02-375). Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved September 26, 2005, from

Malone, M., Rifkin, B., Christian, D., & Johnson, D. (2003). Attaining high levels of proficiency: Challenges for foreign language education in the United States. ERIC/CLL News Bulletin (26), 2. Retrieved September 26, 2005, from

National Standards in Foreign Language Education Project. (1999). Standards for foreign language learning in the 21st Century. Hastings-on-Hudson, NY: Author.

ACTFL Year of Languages Logo

Year of Languages Radio Series
In support of the Year of Languages, the College of Charleston and the National Museum of Language have developed a series of 52 radio spots on languages and linguistics. Listen to the first 20 episodes of Talkin' About Talk or read the list of upcoming programs and dates online.

The University of New Mexico's Department of Linguistics is celebrating 35 years of Navajo language instruction. Check out their upcoming events here.



Additional resources on heritage languages

CAL Digest Series

Read CAL Digests on heritage languages by clicking on the titles below:

Chinese Heritage Community Language Schools in the United States
Theresa Hsu Chao, Founder, National Council of Associations of Chinese Language Schools, June 1997

Heritage Spanish Speakers' Language Learning Strategies
Zennia Hancock, University of Maryland, College Park, October 2002

Involuntary Language Loss Among Immigrants: Asian-American Linguistic Autobiographies
Leanne Hinton, University of California, Berkeley, December 1999

Tapping a National Resource: Heritage Languages in the United States
Richard D. Brecht and Catherine W. Ingold, National Foreign Language Center, Washington, DC, May 2002


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