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Merced College Hosts Year of Languages Celebration

April 12, 2005

Congress has declared 2005 as the Year of Languages and the Merced College Foreign Language Department will be taking part in the national celebrations by hosting a “Year of Languages Celebration” on April 19, from 12 to 1:30 p.m. on campus in Library 1. Three UC Merced professors have been invited to speak on a topic related to language: Jeff Hiroshimi, Professor of Philosophy; Teenie Matlock, Professor of Psychology-Linguistics; and Christian Ricci, Professor of Spanish Literature.

The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) in collaboration with the United States Department of Education, the United States Congress and the United States Department of State has encouraged all language organizations, business groups and international economic councils, chambers of commerce, United States embassies abroad, foreign consulates and embassies in the United States and international governments to join together to create a stimulating range of activities that will provide Americans with a new and fresh perspective of the value of learning other languages.

The ACTFL is the only national organization dedicated to the improvement and expansion of the teaching and learning of all languages at all levels of instruction. ACTFL is an individual membership organization of more than 7,000 foreign language educators and administrators from elementary through graduate education, as well as government and industry.  Its mission is to promote and foster the study of languages and cultures as an integral component of American education and society.

The Year of Languages here in the United States will parallel events and celebrations that have already taken place in other parts of the world. The year 2001 was designated the Year of Languages in Europe and since that time, Europeans have been celebrating one week of language promotion every year. The year 2006 has been designated the Year of Languages in China and Chinese citizens will have the opportunity to learn additional languages to prepare for the Olympics that will be held in Beijing in 2008.

The Merced College event is free of charge and the public is encouraged to attend.

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