HomeACTFL Launches the Lead with Languages Teacher Scholarship Program

ACTFL Launches the Lead with Languages Teacher Scholarship Program


Committed to Funding the Next Generation of Language Educators 

Your support can help fund a college student’s education and pathway to becoming a foreign language teacher. 100 percent of every dollar you donate goes directly to funding scholarships and providing educational opportunities to the next generation of language educators.

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Open to eligible High School Seniors in Spring of 2019, these merit-based scholarships will fund $1,500 per year for four (4) years, totaling $6,000.

Your gift can help make an immediate impact on a student’s life and give them valuable financial support to start their college careers as soon as this Fall. Help us launch this exciting new scholarship program and support the inaugural class of Teacher Scholars! Consider making your gift today!

Girl in red sweater smilingWhy fund Lead with Languages Teacher Scholars?

There is an acute nationwide shortage of K-12 language teachers that cuts across 44 states, and in many, going on more than three years.  Our schools urgently need more high achieving students to enter the profession to teach languages—all languages, including Spanish, Mandarin, French, German, Arabic, Russian, Japanese, Italian, Korean, and Portuguese.

To strengthen the pipeline of language educators, providing financial support for students with a talent for languages and a desire to make a difference in the classroom is critical.

Why is foreign language education important in the first place?

U.S. employers are operating in an increasingly multilingual and multicultural economy in which 65 million U.S. residents speak another language than English—40 percent with limited or no proficiency in English—and 95 percent of the world’s consumers, as well as two-thirds of its purchasing power, reside outside our borders.  For this reason, demand for language skills is growing and on a sustained basis among U.S. private and public-sector employers.

A survey conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs among U.S. employers to be released Spring 2019 found that 9 out of 10 employers rely on U.S.-based employees with language skills, with a third citing a high dependency. Moreover, demand has been on a sustained rise with only 6 percent projecting less demand over the coming 5 years.  The demand for language skills is growing and here to stay.

Who is behind the Lead with Languages Teacher Scholarship Program?

son and mom hug at graduationPart of the Lead with Languages Scholarship Fund, the Lead with Languages Teacher Scholarship Program is overseen by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), an organization that has long been on the front lines of meeting the needs and challenges of the language teaching profession.  Established in 1967, ACTFL is a membership organization of 12,500 language educators dedicated to the improvement and expansion of the teaching and learning of all languages at all levels of instruction.

The Lead with Languages Teacher Scholarship Program is part of a broader national effort led by ACTFL to build the pipeline of language educators that includes a teacher-led mentorship program for aspiring high school and college students interested in the language teaching profession, as well as a mentorship program aimed at early career language teachers.

As part of the Teacher Scholarship Program, ACTFL will:

  • Convene a committee of language educators to select the scholars
  • Monitor the scholars’ progress through their 4-year college track
  • Provide students upon graduation and entry into the teaching field 1-year complimentary ACTFL membership, which includes access to the ACTFL Mentorship Program aimed at early career language teachers.