TASK FORCE ON THE PRESERVATION OF HERITAGE LANGUAGE SKILLS IN MARYLAND

Catherine W. Ingold, Ph.D., Chair (chosen by Senate President & House Speaker)

Appointed by Senate President: James C. Rosapepe

Appointed by House Speaker: Joseline A. Pena-Melnyk

Appointed by State Superintendent of Schools: Chuks Eleonu; Maria Flores; Katie Gray; Gigi Guzman; Henry Lau, M.D.; Rosamaria Somarriba; Terry L. Thompson, Esq.; Gustavo Torres; Maria G. Wilmeth.

Representing University System of Maryland: Ababakar Diop; Catherine W. Ingold, Ph.D.; Ana Maria Schwartz, Ph.D.

Representing Maryland Association of Community Colleges: Marlene C. Cohen

Ex officio: Cathleen Hamel, designee of Secretary of Business & Economic Development; Colleen P. Seremet, Ed.D., designee of State Superintendent of Schools; Martin Ford, Ph.D., designee of Secretary of Human Resources; George W. Reid, Ph.D., designee of Secretary of Higher Education; Angela Lagdameo, designee of Executive Director, Governor's Office of Community Initiatives.

Staff: Susan C. Spinnato

c/o State Dept. of Education
Nancy S. Grasmick State Education Building, 200 West Baltimore St., Baltimore, MD 21201 - 2595
(410) 767-6577
e-mail: sspinnato@msde.state.md.us

In July 2008, the Task Force on the Preservation of Heritage Language Skills in Maryland was established (Chapters 411 & 412, Acts of 2008). Because many children in Maryland speak a language other than English at home and proficiency in such a language is a potential asset to the State for national security, defense, education, business, and foreign trade purposes, the Task Force was charged to find ways to help children retain fluency in the language of their heritage while improving their English language skills as their families assimilate. The Task Force compiled data on actual and potential heritage language speakers in the State. To preserve heritage language skills, it consulted with educators and other experts in the field, identified best practices currently used in the United States and internationally; and considered other innovative and cost-effective methods to achieve its objectives. Also, the Task Force was to develop a method for determining which heritage languages are most needed for future national security and international business requirements. Finally, the Task Force recommended programs and actions it found to be successful at preserving heritage language skills.

Authorization for the Task Force ended July 31, 2009.

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