The NFLC seeks to influence public policy by systematically identifying and describing the consequences of unmet needs for languages in U.S. society. Armed with research findings, the NFLC reaches out to educate the following:
- Federal, state, and local government, including diplomacy, trade, defense, national security, and public services such as health care and the justice system
- Business and industry, especially language for international business and for a linguistically diverse domestic population
In addition, the NFLC researches and advocates policy and strategy at all levels of government to develop needed language capabilities within the United States. The NFLC's platform includes:
- Improvement in the availability and effectiveness of language learning in the U.S., including more languages, more effectively taught in longer sequences. The NFLC advocates the development of language skills to professionally and personally useful levels for a greatly expanded population.
- Development of heritage languages (languages other than English, spoken at home) in parallel to effective programs in English as a Second Language (ESL) or English Language Arts.
- Development of a larger and more skilled corpus of language teachers in the languages that the U.S. needs and can be expected to need in the future
- A national rhetoric that respects and values the skills of persons who are proficient in English and one or more other languages, and recognizes that around the world, millions of people achieve high levels of bi-literacy needed for their professions and their social network
- Attention to the needs of speakers of other languages through effective, affordable, and available ESL programs; and provision of high-quality language services to those who are not yet proficient in English for essential public service
Please read the white paper on this subject, The Teachers We Need.