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Language Is Limitless

In Language Magazine's July 2021 issue, Carnegie Learning's Jennifer Kilmore introduces a community for educators

We know the power of language. It can open doors for our students to the world, helping them to connect with new people, experience cultures different from their own, and develop greater insight, empathy, and understanding. In an increasingly connected world, it can also provide countless opportunities for successful futures. The Language Is Limitless Community was created last year to bring together world language educators who are committed to fostering a love of language and culture in their students. With more than 4,000 members, the community has rapidly become a place where educators can find resources, support, and inspiration from their peers all over the country.

Supporting World Language Teachers
World language teachers often find themselves in unique situations. They may be the only language teacher at their school or part of a small department, so they often have to seek out professional learning opportunities themselves. Given this, along with the current challenging teaching climate, it is more important than ever to lean on one another. World language teachers need and deserve ongoing support in order to be successful and have a positive impact on student learning. We created the Language Is Limitless Community to give them a space where they can feel supported, encouraged, and most importantly not alone in the important work they do every day.

Community members bond over their shared love of language and culture, regardless of which language they teach. They share ideas, resources, and encouragement in the Language Is Limitless Facebook group and also receive a monthly newsletter with classroom activities, tips, and other support. They can also participate in special events. The Language Is Limitless Community has been shaped and led by educators from the start. At the 2019 ACTFL Conference, educators were invited to vote on what the new group’s name should be. Language Is Limitless became the clear favorite, and a vibrant community celebrating the teaching and learning of languages was born. The name Language Is Limitless comes from the quote by philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein: “The limits of my language are the limits of my world.” Giving our students access to new languages opens up opportunities for them that they would never have otherwise.

Community Mission and Vision
Language Is Limitless Community members share the following core beliefs:
• Learning a language is critical to a student’s future success in an increasingly interconnected global society.
• Learning a language brings significant benefits to students, including faster cognitive development, better test scores, and increased empathy.
• As educators, we need to expand our students’ worldviews and shed a light on other cultures and our own.
• Effective language learning is about communication and interculturality, not just learning vocabulary and grammar.

Our goal is to create a space where teachers can lean on and learn from each other. Ultimately, we want to empower them through continuous support in helping their students fall in love with languages.

The Future Is Limitless
We are continuing to plan new opportunities for teachers to connect with each other, including virtual and in-person meetups at conferences and other world language events. Ready-to-use classroom activities are offered every month to support teachers throughout the school year, and we will have an exciting announcement about an online series in the fall.

Jennifer Kilmore is a veteran world language teacher with a background in in-person, hybrid, and virtual instruction. She holds a Master of Arts degree in second languages, second-language acquisition, and pedagogy from the University of Arkansas. Jennifer is very involved in professional language organizations and is a member of the ACTFL’s Leadership Initiative for Language Learning. She is passionate about the lasting positive influences that language learning has on students.

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