Senior U.S. Education Official to Address National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages Conference

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Mohamed Abdel-Kader, deputy assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Education’s International and Foreign Language Education Office, will speak to the annual conference of the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages Friday in Atlanta.

Abdel-Kader will address a session on less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) and global competency in the 21st century.  As the conference program notes, “The 21st century brings with it a multitude of opportunities for people around the world to engage, but they must have the global competency and linguistic ability to understand the challenges ahead and solve the world’s most pressing issues.”

In his role as deputy assistant secretary, Abdel-Kader helps promote the study of foreign languages and the study of the cultures of other countries at the elementary, secondary and postsecondary levels in the U.S. LCTLs include less commonly taught languages in American public schools such as Chinese, Arabic and Russian and Japanese.

The new Every Student Succeeds Act, which was signed into law by President Obama in December, creates the opportunity to ensure a well-rounded education for all students—an education that not only includes strong numeracy and literacy, but provides all students with access to science, social studies, the arts, physical education and health, and the opportunity to learn a second language. The U.S. Department of Education is taking action across a range of areas to support states and districts in ensuring schools provide a rich range of offerings.