CSU Strategic Language Initiative Support Letter

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The CSU Strategic Language Initiative Consortium http://www.csusli.us/ – (562) 985-5806 June 25, 2010 Board of Trustees Anaheim Union High School District 501 Crescent Way Anaheim, CA 92801 Board of Trustees: The Cal State University Office of Strategic Languages was created as a response to recent global crises that have highlighted the critical need for strategic and diplomatic expertise in major world languages, as well as less spoken languages of global “hot spots.” The deployment of military forces has underlined the essential role of linguists able to communicate with multilingual populations and provide translation, interpretation and cultural competencies in the field, in strategic planning and in intelligence. In addition, the U.S. Departments of Defense and State have called for a collaborative federal and academic effort to fill critical national foreign language shortfalls. The large heritage language communities in metropolitan areas like southern California represent a largely untapped resource for helping to meet these needs. Anaheim Union High School District’s (AUHSD) proposed policy to recommend a “Seal of Biliteracy” for eligible student graduates is to be commended for supporting the country’s vital need for world language capacity.
No single university or institution has the resources to meet this rapidly changing need for global and regional expertise in a wide range of world languages. National efforts have concentrated on developing flagship programs in languages such as Chinese, Arabic, Russian, and Korean. These efforts must be expanded to increase fluency exponentially in critical professions. Collectively the southern California campuses of the CSU system are collaborating to provide an innovative approach to intensive language learning that can serve as a model for other metropolitan consortia. These universities serve the most linguistically diverse populations in the country, with large heritage communities near different campuses, and collectively enroll over 100,000 students each year. Initial participating campuses are CSU Long Beach, CSU Dominguez Hills, CSU Fullerton, CSU Los Angeles, CSU Northridge and CSU San Bernardino.
Although there is a growing number of districts throughout the state adopting a Seal of Biliteracy, AUHSD will be the first in Orange County to give such recognition. I am very pleased to support AUHSD’s effort to help our country compete on the global stage and enhance our economic and strategic position moving into the 21st century. I additionally look forward to seeing your graduates continue their education in the CSU system where they can truly optimize their potential in world languages. Sincerely,
KimOanh Nguyen-Lam, Ph.D. Executive Director, CSU Strategic Language Initiative Consortium
View All CSU Strategic Language Initiative, I. Clarify the Purpose(s) and Rationale, Support

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