Take All the Time You Need, Just Hurry
We are at an excellent point in our history to take advantage of the most contemporary teaching approaches, assistive technologies, and a shifting of our world to a new normal. This normal is taking shape right now and will continue to do so in the coming years. Whereas we cannot drive the things that are shifting, we can take the opportunity to establish the role we want to play in that shift. We see a multicultural world developing where the need for learning and understanding will continue to be strong, with the expectation that those who can provide that knowledge are equal to the task. This presents us with not just being able to see today’s environment but set forth with contemporary and contextual thinking that will prepare nations and learners to live in that world. What does this mean for Less Commonly Taught Languages? One thing I know for sure is that less commonly taught does not equal less commonly used. As we define what our role is in addressing our theme in today’s, we should keep in mind several questions. Are the same motivations that drove our efforts 10, 20, and 30 years ago still driving us today, or are they different? What do we hope our learners and preservers of the language receive as a result of our efforts? Are we prepared to use the latest portable technology and devices for language and culture teaching and preservation? Have we really taken advantage of technology – for both application and language acquisition? Are our teaching materials adaptive to the technology? What is the role we intend to play in the America’s Language Initiative?