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Professional Development

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Ongoing professional development helps educators, schools, and districts succeed long-term by supporting pathways to teaching certification, guiding new educators to growth opportunities, and developing emerging leaders over the course of their careers.

The Demand for Support

Recently revisited data exploring trends in the U.S. teaching force across subject areas confirms that more than 44 percent of new teachers leave the profession within their first five years of teaching.1 Furthermore, a 2022 Gallup poll indicates that K-12 and university workers rank first and second (44 and 35 percent respectively) as groups in the U.S. workforce facing the highest burn out rates—with a full 52% of K-12 teachers reporting burn out.2

Because language educators are often the only subject area specialist at their institution, they can face higher levels of isolation than other teachers, pointing to an even greater need for opportunities to connect with peers and seek support as they navigate career advancement.

Resources for all Career Stages

We envision a world where every language educator has equal access to the high-quality resources and professional development they need and deserve to thrive. With these tools in reach, language educators are empowered to make decisions that impact their learners and unfair barriers to becoming a language teacher are eliminated.

The Language Connects Foundation seeks to establish new programs to support the professional growth of educators of all languages and at all levels. As we identify areas of need and expand our offerings, we invite you to share your ideas with us.

Our work also supports the many established ACTFL programs providing continuing education to pre-service and current language educators alike, with an objective to grow these efforts to reach all educators.

ACTFL resources include:

  • Workshops, webinars, and courses for individuals and districts;
  • Online career tools, including a job search engine and resume assistance;
  • An annual Convention with hundreds of in-person and virtual sessions;
  • A mentoring program that pairs early-career and experienced educators;
  • A peer-to-peer coaching tool; and more.

When language educators are supported and valued as highly skilled professionals, we address the nearly universal shortage of language educators across our country, learners excel, and communities thrive.

Funding is available to support attendance at the ACTFL Convention & World Languages Expo.

Explore Convention Stipends & Ideas