language and communication

Native American Language Reauthorization Bill Signed into Law

On December 20, the Esther Martinez Native American Languages Programs Reauthorization Act (S. 256) was signed into law. The legislation reauthorizes the Native American Languages Preservation and Maintenance grant program and the Esther Martinez Initiative grant program within the Department of Health and Human Services. Both programs support projects to preserve and revitalize Native languages in tribal communities. In addition to reauthorizing the two programs, the legislation increases the maximum possible duration of all Esther Martinez grants from three years to five years and decreases the required minimum number of enrollees in Native American language programs. The text of the…

The National Communication Association Answers “Why Social Science?”

This week’s Why Social Science? guest post comes from Paaige Turner, Executive Director of the National Communication Association, who writes about the role Communication research plays in helping shape our understanding of the world around us. Read it here and subscribe. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

Academies Calls for Science Communication Partnership Proposals

As part of efforts to build on its December 2016 report, Communicating Science Effectively: A Research Agenda, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has announced that it will make two awards to support the “formation and development of partnerships of science communication researchers and practitioners and facilitate their efforts to plan collaborative projects that pursue shared research interests.” Support for the awards is provided by the Rita Allen Foundation. More information is available on the project website. Submissions are due by June 2, 2017. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

National Academies Releases Report on Dual Language and English Learners

On February 28, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released Promoting the Educational Success of Children and Youth Learning English: Promising Futures, a report by the Committee on Fostering School Success for English Learners. The report assesses the current state of English language education in the United States and offers recommendations on how to improve learning outcomes for dual language learners (DLLs) and English learners (ELs). Under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), states have a responsibility to address disparities in the educational outcomes of DLLs/ELs. The report contains 14 recommendations designed to inform policy and offers a…

LSA Releases Annual Report on Linguistics in Higher Education

The Linguistic Society of America (LSA), a COSSA Governing Member, has issued its fourth Annual Report on the State of Linguistics in Higher Education. The report shows a growing popularity of the linguistics major at four-year colleges and universities, as well as a number of other interesting highlights such as career trends, demographics, and specializations. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

AAA&S Report Makes Recommendations for Improved U.S. Language Education

On February 28, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAA&S), a COSSA member, released, America’s Languages: Investing in Language Education for the 21st Century, the final report of the Commission on Language Learning. A bipartisan group of U.S. Members of Congress requested that AAA&S establish the Commission in order “to examine the current state of U.S. language education, to project what the nation’s education needs will be in the future, and to offer recommendations for ways to meet those needs.” The Commission found that only 10 percent of the U.S. population speaks a second language proficiently, a number insufficient…

Interagency Working Group on Language and Communication Seeks Input on R&D Report

The Interagency Working Group on Language and Communication (IWGLC) is seeking public input on its recently released report, which establishes a taxonomy to classify current federal research and development activities related to language and communication. Housed within the National Science and Technology Council, the IWGLC (charter) is made up of representatives from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, National Science Foundation, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Education, Department of Defense, Department of Agriculture, Department of Justice, Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, Department of State, Department of Commerce, National Endowment for the Humanities,…

White House Releases First-Ever Working Group Report on Language and Communication

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s (OSTP) National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) Subcommittee on Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences recently released the first ever, Report from the Interagency Working Group on Language and Communication, “an inventory of current programmatic activities across Federal agencies and departments that relate to the scientific and technological aspects of language and communication.” The report explains why the government and the American people benefit from its investments in R&D activities relating to language and communication. A key feature of the report is the Language and Communication R&D Taxonomy providing a “common framework…


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