Essential Questions

"And questions long buried under answers may be unearthed" (Tom Barone, 2001, p. 3).

1) Who is the "community" in community outreach? How broad or narrow is the definition?

2) In what ways do we invite the community in as partners in our work rather than merely reach out?

3) What purpose(s) does community outreach serve? What goals can be achieved through effective community outreach?

4) How does community outreach function in rural monolingual regions?

5) Who are the stakeholders in community outreach? How does community outreach benefit each group? What role do students themselves play in community outreach efforts?

6) How can community outreach efforts best be organized? How do you determine the best group to lead specific efforts?

7) What factors influence the choice of particular activities and strategies in each institution’s community outreach efforts?

Key Concepts

". . . the emphasis should be on a few powerful ideas that students are unlikely to discover on their own and that can help them make sense of a wide variety of more specific ideas" (Putnam & Borko, 1997, p. 1271).

program support
diverse populations
service learning
parental involvement
program branding
government support (local-state-federal)
communities goal area
heritage speakers
media outlets
publishing and publications
school-business connections

Guiding Principles

". . . Search for principles. Carefully separate them from the detail used to explain them. Principles are concentrated truth, packaged for application to a wide variety of circumstances . . . . It is worth great effort to organize the truth we gather to simple statements of principle" (Richard G. Scott)

1) Authentic, engaging and purposeful linguistic and cultural experiences occur in multiple settings within the school community and through outreach to a broader community.

2) “Community” must be defined before outreach can begin. The targeted community, whether it be local, regional, national or global, will influence the experiences pursued.

3) The experiences pursued support and sustain communities by providing increased, meaningful interaction among educators, students and community members, interaction that benefits stakeholders.

4) Stakeholders must be involved in planning, implementation, and reflection in an ongoing cycle.

5) This ongoing cycle of community outreach supports and sustains teachers by providing interest in and promotion of world language programs.

6) World language programs should include effective community outreach experiences as part of an integrated curriculum.

7) An integrated curriculum, involving both classroom and community-based interactions, benefits students by providing authentic, engaging and purposeful linguistic and cultural experiences.

Personal Reflections

"For what you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing: it also depends on what sort of person you are" (Lewis, 1955, p. 136).

Nicole Naditz: Broadening my perspective of "community" and expanding my own view of what partnerships could look like has been the most instrumental in helping me take community outreach to a new--yet still manageable--level.

Lynn Fulton: As a FLES teacher, community outreach has been tremendously important in establishing support for our fledgling program. It has resulted in parental support and enthusiasm, administrator interest, teacher investigation and growth and student awareness. Community outreach efforts within our program have laid the groundwork for a fully articulated 3-12 program in our district and a shift in perspective from “languages for a few” to “languages for all.”

Jane Rauschenberg: To me, community outreach has a couple key directions. First, our students benefit from expanding their education outside our classrooms through interaction with school, business, local, regional, and global communities. Second, those same communities benefit from interacting with our students, and from learning about the importance of language education.

Brenda Gaver: For me, community outreach has always been based at the state level. In my state language organization, we have a committee called “Community Outreach” but I’d like to shift my focus from the state and government level (in which we always run into a dead end) to my community - my students, their parents and the surrounding neighborhoods.

Quality Models

". . . we teach who we are" (Palmer, 1998, p. 2).

1) Local Primary Initiative: ???

2) Local Secondary Initiative: “Read Around the World,” a service learning program for world language students, sponsored by the Foreign Language Association of Greater Sacramento and the Sacramento Public Library. Contact Nicole Naditz for more information at

3) University Initiative: “Tutoring for Community Outreach” course offered at Carnegie Mellon University. Complete information available at

4) Statewide Initiative: “CTCOLT Rhyme Celebration” annual festival sponsored by the Connecticut Council on Language Teaching. Information available at

5) National initiative: “Discover Languages! Discover the World” campaign, sponsored by the American Council on Teaching of Foreign Languages. Visit for more information.

Powerful Quotations

"The voice of the mentor becomes the internal voice of the protégé" (Lipton & Wellman, 2003)

“Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.” (Edelman. 1992, p. 10).

“Never forget that you’re a member of your own community.” (Richman, 2006).

“Communities can build amazing things, but you have to be part of that community and you can’t abuse them. You have to be very respectful of what their needs are.” (Wales, 2006).

“Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community.” (D’Angelo. 1995).

“The community stagnates without the impulse of the individual. The impulse dies away without the sympathy of the community.” (James, 1988).

Resources & Materials

"The selection of a material or activity is also the selection of an array of forces that will influence how students will be challenged to think . . . the curriculum is a mind-altering device" (Eisner, 2004, pp. 13, 72).

California Department of Education. Service-Learning Links: National Resources.

Florida Learn and Serve. Linking Service Learning and Standards - Four Approaches.

Joint National Committee for Languages & the National Council for Languages and International Studies.

National Service Learning Clearinghouse.

Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory. Service Learning Toolbox: Work Pages and Checklists to Help Get You Started and Keep You Going.

Parsons, Cynthia. (1996). How to Make Service into Service Learning. Energize Inc online library:

Parsons, Cynthia. (1995). Serving to Learn, Learning to Serve: Civics and Service from A to Z. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Southwest Educational Development Laboratory. Involving Family and Community in Student Learning Program.


Barone, Tom. (2001). Touching eternity: The enduring outcomes of teaching. NY: Teachers College Press.

D’Angelo, Anthony. (1995). The College Blue Book: A Few Thoughts, Reflections and Reminders on How to Get the Most Out of Life and College. Lambertville: Collegiate EmPowerment Company.

Edelman, Marian W. (1992). The Measure of Our Success: A Letter to My Child and Yours. Boston: Beacon Press.

Eisner, Elliot W. (2002). The arts and the creation of mind. New Haven: Yale University Press.

James, William. (1988). William James: Writings 1902-1910. New York: Library of America.

Lewis, Clive S. (1955). The magician's nephew. NY: Scholastic.

Lipton, Laura, & Wellman, Bruce. (2003). Mentoring matters: A practical guide to learning-focused relationships (2nd ed.). Sherman, CT: MiraVia.

Palmer, Parker. (1998). The courage to teach: Exploring the inner landscape of a teacher's life. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Putnam, Ralph T., & Borko, Hilda. (1997). Teacher learning: Implications of new views of cognition. In B.J. Biddle, et. al. (Eds.), International handbook of teachers and teaching (pp. 1223-1297). Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Richman, Keith. (2006). Building Buzz for Your Web Project. SXSW Conference Presentation. Austin, TX.

Wales, Jimmy. (2006). Keynote Speech. SXSW Conference. Austin, TX.