Career readiness is defined as the attainment and demonstration of requisite competencies that broadly prepare graduates for a successful transition into the workplace. CULTR’s work remains rooted in preparing all students for successful pathways into rewarding careers. To address the skills gap that exists in this country today, CULTR supports students and educators as they align world language educational outcomes with the high-skill, high-demand needs of business and industry.
Funding Cycle Projects
Guided by its core values, CULTR’s initiatives fall into four central objectives: professional development, career readiness, advocacy, research. Regarding career readiness, CULTR promotes language study and global skills as an integral factor of academic and career preparation for all 21st-Century students. The following projects are laid out in the 2018-2022 funding cycle.
CR1: World Languages Day
Since Fall of 2015, CULTR has hosted World Languages Day, an exploratory language conference and resource fair for 9th to 12th-grade students. WLD highlights the central role of global skills—particularly language proficiency—in opening up career and service opportunities to globally-minded graduates. Through WLD, more than 3,000 students have had the opportunity to meet with leaders and more than 90 exhibitors from international commerce, social services, nonprofits, and governmental agencies with international and global connections. WLD allows students to explore answers to the questions such as how learning a second language can help future aspirations, and how languages make a difference in our society. Exhibitors have included Mercedes Benz, United Parcel Services (UPS), Peace Corps, the CIA, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Red Cross, CNN, the Social Security Administration, and the AFL-CIO. Resources for language study, including informational and motivational activities, as well as discovery stations, highlight professional opportunities through language expertise. The informational materials, teacher toolkit, exhibitor toolkit, photos, videos, and agendas will be available for reproduction and use by teachers across the nation. New in this cycle will be the development of an Organizer Toolkit that would be available to schools and other organizations that wish to replicate the WLD model.
Visit the page on World Languages Day to learn more or participate in the upcoming event.
CR2: Global Competency Profiles
In this initiative, CULTR will create a series of valuable profiles of organizations that will underscore the significance of languages and global competence in all sectors of society, including commerce, hospitality, public health, security, education, and nonprofit organizations. By collecting survey data from these organizations, including the geographic location of their activities, prominent language needs, and definitions of intercultural competence specific to each organization, CULTR will produce not only one-page profiles as downloadable PDFs, but also a searchable database that can be used for research, class activities, and creation of materials. Beginning in Y3, the Instructional Technology Lead will coordinate curricular resources that can be downloaded by teachers to help them integrate the profiles into their classrooms. These resources will facilitate the exploration of questions such as why students should learn a second language if they aspire to enter a specific career, and how language skills are applicable to various fields. The infographics can also assist teachers in their personal advocacy efforts, such as providing this information to parents, principals and district administrators, as well as in efforts to raise community support for language education.
CR3: Workshops at CERCLL Intercultural Competence Conference
CULTR will be collaborating on the Intercultural Competence Conference organized by the Center for Educational Resources in Culture, Language and Literacy (CERCLL) at the University of Arizona in the next two iterations of this event. This conference has become a central hub for discussions on intercultural competence and language teaching. It also offers pre- and post-conference workshops in which research informs practice and where educators can receive Continuing Education hours. CERCLL’s 2020 conference, titled Internationalizing the Curriculum: The Role of Intercultural Competence, and their 2022 conference, titled Intercultural Learning Abroad: Pre, During, and Post Pedagogical Interventions for Deeper Student Learning and Engagement, offers themes that integrate with CULTR’s mission. CULTR will organize a workshop at the 2020 conferences that will connect intercultural communication with career-readiness, advocacy, and questions of access to language education, and in the 2022 conference will sponsor invited speakers or workshop leaders.