K-12
First-Responder
Advocacy Kit


First responders (secoureurs) are local: with local personnel, action and resources. Our aim here is to teach local teachers (working with allies) to propose locally relevant advocacy solutions to issues that effect their programs. Our advocacy generally treats identified specific and diverse problems associated with French language and culture programs in defined geographic locations. Within that context it seeks to influence public policy and resource allocation decisions of specific  educational institutions. Sometimes, we find it necessary to defend all language study, or consider French in a more general, national or international context, but it is essential to find connections in states

CONNECTION - These two link pages will let you find evidence the influence of French speakers closer to home that you had imagined, in order to let doubters know how locally and regionally connected your program is:

STATES–FRANCOPHONE CULTURE & ECONOMIC TIES

STATE-BY-STATE INFORMATION



AATF RESOURCES - Run by Commission on Advocacy Members

AATF Commission on Advocacy - Facebook

AATF Commission on Advocacy – Twitter

Language Notes: language issues and advocacy

French Advocacy Resource Bank


HOW FRENCH IS RANKED

Language Matters (Kathleen Stein-Smith's blog with search engine)

DEPOT - Ideas for French Language & Culture Advocacy in the US

UTILITY OF FRENCH

Foreign Languages - An Essential Core Experience

$$World Languages = Career Opportunities$$

THE SOCIAL & AFFECTIVE VALUES OF LANGUAGE LEARNING


French in Fashion (Margot Steinhart)

There are others.


WHY LOCAL? In the U.S., public school districts are local with a connection to their state for guidelines and funding. Most decisions are made with a focus on the school, the district or the state. Many private schools are locally focused or narrowly on those who attend and/or fund them.

How often do we hear the claim that a location where French is taught is far form any who speak French? Our quarantining in 2020 has taught us the importance of online communities. There are over 150 million French speakers online. Internet penetration for this community so far is only about 35% and growing. Your conversation is as close as your smartphone, tablet or computer. But that's not all. There are French speakers in your state. They may represent governments, businesses of French-speaking countries,

FIND FRENCH SPEAKERS STATE-BY-STATE

MLA Language Map Data Center (languages of your state, county, city)

Cities with the Highest Percentage of French in the United States

Zip Codes with the Highest Percentage of French in the United States

French Americans

French History and Language in the American Midwest

Exploring the Midwest's French Roots

Haitian Americans (Wikipedia)

French Canadian Americans – Wikipedia

New England French (Wikipedia)

West Africans in the United States – Wikipedia

Métis

Belgian Americans – Wikipedia

Languages of the United States – French (Wikipedia)

French language in the United States – Wikipedia

Category:French-Canadian culture in the United States by state (Wikipedia)

Category:French-American culture by state (Wikipedia)

Category:French expatriates in the United States (Wikipedia)

Zip Atlas (got to city or state, then go to ancestry)

Find your local Alliance Française

Explore Meetup – French Language

New England French (Wikipedia)

Speakers of French In The United States (map)


OTHER ISSUES YOU MUST RESOLVE

When you discover a threat to your program, you need to consider these questions:

What is the threat, and to whom? Be complete and detailed.

    Funding issue?
    Enrollment issue?
    Curriculum issue?
    Staffing issue (retirement, tenure, certification, etc.)?
    Legal issue?
    Safety/health issue?
    School closure?

What is the source of the threat, and how did you hear (read) about it?

Is this a final decision?

If not, what are the steps which will make it a final decision?

Can you estimate when those steps might be taken?

Who is the decision maker to resolve the issue?

Who else, besides you, has access to this information?

Are you permitted to share information with your allies?

To what extent will programs be affected (best case? worse case?)


IMAGE - Before the storm, prepare an image for who you are and what you do.

Don't be the person who just teaches French courses at school X. You are part of the French and/or the Foreign Language "program". Make sure your school's academic counselors know as much as possible about your program.

Let your program reflect other things taught in your school, because it allows students to acquire a general communication tool, with applicable literacy and numeracy, and because it facilitates your alliance with teachers in other disciplines.

Make sure your program is wider than France. Extend your range to the Francophone world; geography, cultural iconography, basic cultural and linguistic differences.

Your students must be able to encounter French outside the classroom, like french club, films in French, French-language music, French texting, face-time, skype, zoom partners, social media, service project (tutoring young kids, etc.), immersion meal or day, game.

NEWS of what you do: school or local newspaper, radio and television, social media, bulletin boards, school announcements, digital display boards.


ALLIES - Make sure you have allies and connections:

Accept the idea of finding allies through networking, physically and by social media, and take action.

Your allies should be a regular part of your context.

Let your allies see your image and be observers and sounding boards for advocacy concerns.

Make sure your allies include students, parents, alumni, colleagues, counselors.  but also…

AATF & other language organizations, web, email, social media

Teachers from nearby college French programs

Alliance Française, French Meetups, French Consulate & consul honoraire

Employees of businesses from or exporting to French-speaking countries

Politicians from county commissioners to state legislators


TennesseeBob Peckham , PhD
Director, Globe-Gate Research
Made in Tennessee to bring you the world
bobp@utm.edu

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