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Year of Languages Press Release

CAL Supports 2005: The Year of Languages

Year-long celebration focuses on the power of language learning
December 20, 2004.
Washington DC.

The Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) is a proud supporter of 2005 as the Year of Languages in the United States, a nationwide observance designed to focus attention on the critical importance of language learning. Under the guidance of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) and its affiliated organizations, the Year of Languages will be celebrated in a variety of places and settings, including schools from the elementary to postsecondary levels, and through events at the local, state, and national levels.

The goal of the Year of Languages celebration is to advance the concept that every American should develop proficiency not only in English, but in other languages as well. The initiative is an outstanding opportunity to focus America’s attention on the academic, social, and economic benefits of studying other languages and cultures. The need to communicate with, understand, and do business with people for whom English is not the primary language is clear, as is the need to understand their diverse social and cultural backgrounds.

"CAL is pleased to be part of the celebration of 2005 as the Year of Languages in the United States," said Donna Christian, CAL President. "It has never been more important for Americans to increase their knowledge of other languages and cultures. Proficiency in other languages will provide our children with the tools they need to be successful in the global community."

ACTFL has articulated four primary goals for the Year of Languages initiative:

  • To expand the public’s understanding of the role played by languages in all aspects of people’s lives, in society, and in the future of human and international relations.

  • To promote the importance of language learning and language proficiency, urging every American to commit to learning other languages.

  • To build awareness of the diversity of languages that now play an integral part of everyday life in our country, from the people we live with, the people we work with and for, and the people with whom we do business.

  • To promote the formation of a national task force to study and strengthen policies affecting the availability and quality of language learning and teaching and to make recommendations to strengthen U.S. policy.

Please visit our Web site at for more information about the Year of Languages and CAL’s efforts to support this celebration. You can also visit the official Web site at for more details about local, state, and national activities.

Susan Gilson, Media Relations
202-362-0700, x293

About CAL

The Center for Applied Linguistics is a private nonprofit company working to improve communication through better understanding of language and culture. Established in 1959, CAL has earned a national and international reputation for its contributions to the fields of bilingual education, English as a second language and foreign language education, literacy education, dialect studies, language policy, refugee orientation, and the education of linguistically and culturally diverse adults and children. CAL's staff of researchers and educators conduct research, design and develop instructional materials and language tests, provide technical assistance and professional development, conduct needs assessments and program evaluations, and disseminate information and resources related to language and culture. For more information about CAL, visit

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