The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), a longstanding partner in DC Immersion’s work, recently released Making Languages Our Business: Addressing Foreign Language Demand Among U.S. Employers. This report highlights the increased demand for U.S.-based employees with language skills other than English, illustrates which sectors have an increased demand in recent years, and clearly states the necessity of language skills for international-facing work as well. The report also provides recommendations for businesses to address those needs for language skills and to contribute to the growth of a multilingual workforce. We are proud to partner with ACTFL in highlighting these findings and addressing the linguistic gaps in our workforce and communities which will inevitably impact our economy.

Key findings:

  • 9 out of 10 U.S. employers rely on employees with language skills other than English, and 47% of employers state a need for language skills exclusively for the domestic market. This means that whether our students here in DC have ambitions or connections to international organizations, they are likely to be seen here in the states as a desirable candidate due to their competencies in Spanish, Chinese, French, or Arabic (just a few of the most in-demand foreign languages reported by U.S. employers).
  • 56% of U.S. employers say the demand for language skills other than English will increase in the next 5 years.
  • 1 in 3 language-dependent U.S. employers report a language skills gap
  • 1 in 4 U.S. employers lost business due to a lack of language skills.  

ACTFL’s report also includes several recommendations for businesses, including conducting language needs analyses and inventories of linguistic and cultural competencies, focusing recruitment strategies on language needs, advocating for policies that respond to workforce needs, and more. 

Read the executive summary of the report here

Dear Families, educators, and partners,

In 2020 we announced that the DC Language Immersion Project would close its doors due to lack of resources. However, before completely dissolving the organization, we recently asked a group of local and national educators if they - individually or collectively - would be interested in continuing the work of advocating for multilingual education in the District of Columbia. We are pleased to announce that a few individuals responded yes and volunteered to forge a plan to continue this vital work.

So, we are not closing our doors but we are entering a six-to-twelve-month period of dormancy as we determine the best path forward for the DC Immersion Project.  Thank you for your continued support and please stay tuned for updates.

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