Here are some articles you might want to use when starting or maintaining a program. If you need information on starting and maintaining a language program, check our Program-Start Up page.


From ACTFL: what the research shows about the benefits of learning languages. Click here.
From ACTFL, and Carol Ann Dahlberg and Helena Curtain. What the research shows about early language learning. Click here.

Check out this list of excellent documents to both justify and help with world language instruction from NCSSFL.

Here is the Annotated Bibliograpy, "Effects of Second Language Learning on Intelligence, Standardized Test Scores and Achievement" by Elizabeth L. Webb.

Check out the newly updated JNCL-NCLIS page on nationwide advocacy efforts.

The National Network for Early Language Learning's website of information for parents is here.

Here is a version of the chart that was put together by the Defense Language Institute, showing how many hours it takes adults to master different languages.

The Center for Applied Linguistics list of research and articles on the benefits of early language learning.
A wonderful, fun website created by Connecticut’s own Richard de Meij. Lots of resources for advocacy, language learning, etc. Would be great to link to your school’s website.
__25 Reasons to Study Foreign Languages_by Auburn University.

Ana Lomba’s site includes a great list of links to advocacy articles and topics. This site is especially helpful to teachers and parents of PreSchool children.


FORBES Insights Study Outlines the Importance of Multilingualism in Business

NEW! Baltimore Superintendent puts learning languages at the top of new priorities!

Are we prepared for the jobs of the future? Watch this great advocacy video.

Reasons why Study Abroad creates professionals who are more creative a flexible thinkers.

Here is an article quoting Mary Lynn Redmont on the importance of starting foreign languages in elementary school.

This website has an interesting video describing the need for a European Language Porfolio. Very interesting from an advocacy perspective.

U.S. Public Diplomacy Depends on Citizens Learning Other Languages

Link to the original Lousiana Study “Second Language Study and Basic Skills in Louisiana.”
Executive Summary of the second Louisiana Study of Basic Skills and Foreign Language Learning conducted in 2004.

Article “So your school in starting and Asian Language Program?” available from Cheng & Tsui.


Nash, J.M. “Fertile Minds.” Time Magazine, February 3, 1997. One of the original, great articles that we used to talk about brain research and world language learning in the late 1990’s. Still very readable.

Neuroscientists have discovered why children excel at learning languages.
Excerpt: Scientists may finally have an explanation for why children reign supreme when it comes to learning new languages. Using MRI and animation technology to study the brains of children, researchers like Dr. Paul Thompson of UCLA have discovered that children are processing language information in a different region of the brain than adults.

“The Child’s Brain” PBS, Mini-video clips. PBS also sells its various programs on the brain. Another great site on which you can learn about how the brain works. Go to it just to see the talking brain! Click on “teachers” if you are interested in lesson plans for teaching about the brain.
Learning Second Language Changes Brain: Bilingual people have more grey matter in key region
Reuters Article, October 13, 2004
Shiver, E. “Brain Development and Mastery of Language in the Early Childhood Years.” IDRA Newsletter, April 2001.
From the website: Brain Facts is a 64-page primer on the brain and nervous system, published by the Society for Neuroscience. In addition to serving as a starting point for a lay audience interested in neuroscience, the book is used at the annual Brain Bee, which is held in conjunction with Brain Awareness Week. The 2006 revised edition of Brain Facts is available now in PDF format and in print. You can order it online as well, and it will be shipped to you free-of-charge at
“Finding a Voice: Perspectives on Language Acquisition.” Discusses mostly first language acquisition, but concepts are certainly relevant and useful.
From the website: Now comes research from Goldsmiths, University of London, and funded by the Economic Social and Research Council, that suggests bilingual learning shows that children who speak at least two languages actually strengthen their identities as learners and boosts their cognitive development.
Researchers at the Baycrest Research Centre for Aging and the Brain have published a study saying that in a cohort of 184 elderly patients, 134 showed signs of dementia. But the ones who spent their lives speaking more than one language—there were 25 languages in the group—started showing onset something like four years later than the ones who only spoke one language.