The Wisconsin Language Roadmap

The Wisconsin Language Roadmap asks, “What can YOU do?”

It’s here, but now the work begins!  There is much work to be done at local and state levels! The Wisconsin Language Roadmap is a call for collaborative action. The key question that the report puts forward is: WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Here are the resources to guide you as you implement this valuable tool to strengthen and promote world language learning in Wisconsin.

 “All Wisconsinites can support progress toward the realization of world-ready businesses, communities, organizations, professionals, schools, educators, students, and citizens.”

The Wisconsin Language Roadmap (2018, p. 20)

Preaching Beyond the Choir: July 2018’s “Advocacy in Action” column highlighted the Wisconsin Language Roadmap Initiative as an instrumental effort for creating partnerships across sectors to advocate for language learning in Wisconsin. Since 2017, this federally funded initiative has been doing just that: convening leaders across sectors and throughout our state to discuss how to promote, expand, and strengthen language learning for all Wisconsinites.

An Important New Report: The culmination of this cross-sector collaboration is the recently published report, The Wisconsin Language Roadmap: Investing in a World-Ready Wisconsin, published in December 2018 by the UW-Madison, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, with participation of WAFLT members in all aspects of the project so far. The report is a strategic plan and a collaborative call for action to achieve THE VISION OF A WORLD-READY WISCONSIN through a set of strategic goals, recommendations, and action items.

Goals, Recommendations, and Action Items: The Wisconsin Language Roadmap makes the case for why languages matter, highlights Wisconsin employers’ demand for a multilingual workforce, and outlines the state’s current educational capacities for meeting that demand. The document then puts forward strategic goals, core recommendations, and concrete action items to better meet the demand for languages in our local communities and to strengthen Wisconsin’s capacity for competing abroad. Recommendations and action items are in three strategic goal areas:

  1. Developing leadership and advocacy for language education,
  2. Developing continuous and effective language programs for all students, and
  3. Developing and sustaining language teacher talent.

Next Steps: Based on input from around the state, the project is taking immediate action on the following three high-priority core recommendations:

  • Establishing a cross-sectoral Wisconsin Coalition to Advance Language Learning
  • Developing a plan to expand access to Dual Language Immersion programs in Wisconsin’s schools, and
  • Revising the state’s academic standards for world language learning.

A Call for Action: There is much work to be done at local and state levels! The Wisconsin Language Roadmap is a call for collaborative action. The key question that the report puts forward is: WHAT CAN YOU DO?

  • Which recommendations and action items do you see as priorities?
  • Who in your spheres of influence can you engage to develop a course of action?
  • How can you set and revisit specific priorities and goals?

A GREAT PLACE TO START is with the full Wisconsin Language Roadmap report, which is available on the project’s website along with its executive summary and press release.

REFER YOUR COLLEAGUES who are participating in the Wisconsin State Education Convention in Milwaukee on January 23-25 to attend the January 24 presentation, The Wisconsin Language Roadmap: Leading for Equity in Access to College, Career and World Readiness. Also refer your colleagues who are participating in the Wisconsin School Counselor Association annual conference in Madison on February 5 to attend the Reach Higher Convening from 1:30-4:40 pm, which will include the Wisconsin Language Roadmap as a featured statewide initiative. Finally, participants at the Toward One Wisconsin Inclusivity Conference on April 11-12 in Milwaukee are invited to attend the presentation, Creating a World-Ready Wisconsin Through Equity in Access to Language Learning.

Finally, feel free to reach out to the Roadmap’s project team members with questions, ideas, or with updates on your own grassroots efforts.

The Wisconsin Language Roadmap is an initiative of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Language Institute sponsored by The Language Flagship of the National Security Education Program in the U.S. Department of Defense, with substantial support from the University of Wisconsin–Madison International Division and the College of Letters & Science, and in collaboration with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

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