How to Be an Effective Advocate

Questions Individuals Can Ask:

  • How informed am I about pending legislation which could affect language and area studies?
  • How often do I write to my senators and congressional representative(s) in Washington?
  • When did I last write an advocacy letter?
  • What have I done to support the efforts of foreign language teachers in my area and to publicize their successes?
  • What role do I play in the advocacy work of the professional organization to which I belong?
  • What contact have I had with elected representatives, local, state, and national?
  • What resources do I have on hand to be an effective advocate?

 
Questions Associations Can Ask:

  • How much do we publicize the status of legislation of pending issues of concern to foreign language teachers?
  • What information do we provide so that teachers can get involved?
  • How much communication does our advocacy team, task force or committee have with its members?
  • What success stories can we tell?
  • How connected are we to advocacy efforts of allied organizations and other foreign language association?
  • What role does advocacy plan in our organization structure, our conference planning, and in the setting of our financial priorities?

Advocacy Ideas:

  • Install an advocacy hotline.
  • Host a large-scale activities fair which lets parents see their children’s success in foreign language-especially at the elementary/middle school level.
  • Support foreign language programs through involvement in local, state, and national Parent Teacher Associations.
  • Give sessions and presentations about foreign language study at the conferences of other educational associations such as Middle Schools and Social Studies groups.
  • Volunteer to do programs or be a speaker for groups such as counselors, school bard associations and associations for academic administrators.
  • Consider hiring young, political science graduate students to work as “inexpensive” paid staff for advocacy work.