Responding to Program Threats

France is the Number 1 travel destination in the world, with 75 million visitors annually.

      1. Where do I start if I know or if I perceive that
        my French program is endangered?
      2. What can I learn from others?
      3. How can I get others to help?
      4. What can advocates do?
      5. What do I say and what information can I use to respond?

  • This document presents the range of documents found here that might be included in an advocacy campaign.
  • Intro_Advocacy.doc

1. Where do I start if I know or if I perceive that my French program is endangered?

Checklists: Here are ideas for teachers, parents, and students to mount a plan of action.
Strategy_AdvocacyChecklist_TeachersV3 .doc

Visit the AATF website here to find your chapter president.
Consult the AATF Advocacy Commission websitefor more information on advocacy.

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2. What can I learn from others?

Read these success stories of teachers whose French programs have been sustained or reinstated. In these accounts, teachers offer advice on what made the difference and how specific strategies can be effective.
Success Story_ SchoolBoardChangesMind_Rhodes.pdf (elementary French program)
SuccessStory_MiddleSchoolFrenchTeacherFoilsCutback.doc (middle school French program)
Success Story_FrenchTeacherRalliesFamiliesToSaveFrenchVCourse.doc (high school French program)
SuccessStory_APhoenixSuccessStory.doc (high school French program reinstated)

Consult these articles for advice on working with advocates.
Essay_Vital Advocacy_Peckham.doc

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3. How can I get others to help?

Find out who your allies are in order to determine who can be influential and organize others.

Solicit replies to these documents.


Send a letter or email or make a telephone call to key parent allies. Here are two letters that might be adapted to fit the situation.


Provide a key parent ally with a sample letter that can be tailored to meet the advocacy need.

Collect testimonials from current and former students, parents, and other supporters of the French program.

Create a page of quotes from local supporters. Here are some examples:

Gather personal stories of students who value their French experiences and of parents who can validate the experiences of their children in your French program. If you don't have your own set of personal stories, you will find a variety of personal stories by clicking here.

Here is a prompt to encourage supportive statements for your French program from students, parents, and others.

Here is a release form that provides fair use of photos, videos, and texts.

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4. What can advocates do?

Advocates (parents and students) need to make contact with other parents and
• Knowing French enriches language usage in English in many domains, e.g., legal, administrative, political, architectural, artistic, culinary, aeronautical, and engineering terms.

students, as well as community members to inform them of the threat to the
French program in their school or district. Technology provides an effective and
efficient way to accomplish this.


Allies with skills in using technology are frequently our students.
Strategy_Technology for Student Advocates_Aswell.doc

Allies can use resources on the Internet to establish a post from which to
disseminate information.

Here is an example of a web site that middle-school students in Kings Park, NY,
created to garner support to retain their French program.

Creating a video to demonstrate what the current French program offers students
andwhat would be lost if there were no French program can be an effective strategy.

Advocates can call, send emails, write letters to administrators, Board of Education members, and to the press.
Sample_AdvocacyLetterFromLatinTeacher_ ElementarySpanishOnlyProposal.doc
Sample_AdvocacyLetterToSuperintendent_FrenchProgramCut (1).doc
Sample_AdvocacyLetterToSuperintendent_FrenchProgramCut (2).doc

Advocates can speak at School Board meetings.

Use clips from The World Speaks French:Video Stories to bolster support for learning French.

The World Speaks French: Video Stories is a set of interviews with people from different walks
of life who tell fascinating stories of how learning and speaking French has impacted their lives
and careers.
The Stories are available in two formats, on DVD, or as a set of downloadable movies
for PC or Mac that are perfect for Powerpoint presentations, or simply playing the stories
as they are on a desktop computer or laptop in QuickTime Player or Windows Media Player.
You can obtain a DVD by contacting the AATF:
You can download the video stories below in one zipped (compressed) folder that will unpack
when you double click it after downloading. The file is large, several hundred megabytes, so the
download time may be 20 minutes or longer depending on the speed of your internet connection.

The Video Stories for computer use can be downloaded here .
Or as Download from Google Drive

Here is a synopsis of what is included in the 13 personal stories on the DVD:

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5. What information about the importance of French could advocates use in preparing their response to program curtailment?
Consult the page Advancing Arguments in this wiki.

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