U.S. and International Organizations

 U.S. Organizations

Other organizations, in addition to the Coalition, also focus on heritage language learners and provide information and resources.

The Alliance for the Advancement of Heritage Languages has many helpful resources, including profiles of heritage language programs and Heritage Briefs on many different topics.


The Language Connects Foundation (LCF) is a national not-for-profit and philanthropic organization created in partnership with its parent organization, ACTFL, to elevate the language education profession and promote the transformative power of language learning. As a standalone entity, LCF’s ultimate goal is to help ensure a diverse, well-prepared, and highly skilled language educator workforce today and for generations to come by addressing some of the critical challenges currently facing the language education profession.

The National Coalition of Native American Language Schools and Programs advocates for the use of Indigenous languages as the medium of instruction in community-led schools and programs. They empower students, families, teachers and our community-led Native American language medium schools and programs by strengthening public policy.

The National Heritage Language Resource Center (NHLRC) at UCLA, one of 16 Language Resource Centers funded by the U.S. Department of Education, develops effective pedagogical approaches to teaching heritage language learners, by creating a research base and by pursuing curriculum design, materials development, and teacher education.

Since 1987 the National Network for Early Language Learning (NNELL) has fostered a network that empowers educators to advocate for and support early language teaching and learning, with the vision that every child deserves educators, parents, and decision makers and to workshops, instructional materials, advocacy resources, and information for parents. NNELL supports all program models that provide and promote second language education from birth to Grade 8.

 International Organizations

A number of international organizations focus on heritage language learners in community-based schools, provide information and resources, and are collaborators with the Coalition.

The Heritage Language Education Network (HLE Network) seeks to increase and improve opportunities for multilingual children to further develop the language(s) they speak at home through an effective educational program. This education should support them in their identity development so that they can grow up confidently and integrate into local society. We aim to promote and improve heritage language (HL) education in the Eindhoven region and beyond.

The Heritage Language Schools of Eindhoven (HLSE) seek to maintain and develop the heritage languages of children in the Netherlands.

The International and Heritage Languages Association was founded in 1977 to bring together heritage language schools in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, which were operating in isolation. When teachers participated in a conference, they discovered that their challenges and rewards were similar across schools, regardless of the languages they taught, and they continue to collaborate and learn from each other.

The International Languages Educators' Association (ILEA) of Ontario, Canada, is a professional association dedicated to the field of international language education. ILEA works with community-based heritage language schools. In Ontario, these programs have been mandated for 40 years, and a school district must provide a program if approached by the community (with 23 students it must be provided, although most school boards do it with fewer students, in order to be inclusive of all communities). School boards collect grants from the Ministry of Education to run the programs (hire staff, provide space, offer professional development for teachers, etc.). This paper, which describes how ILE (International Language Organizations, for us, community-based heritage language schools), gives valuable information about how to build and sustain the key features of these schools.

MÓÐURMÁL (the Association on Bilingualism) – is an umbrella organisation of community-based heritage language schools in Iceland. Its goals are to teach children their heritage languages, support HL schools and HL teachers, support parents of plurilingual children, take part in research on bilingualism and HL, develop HL instruction, and support active plurilingualism in Icelandic society. Móðurmál also runs a large library with over 6,000 books in over 50 languages, available for children and youth across Iceland

Mother Tongues is a social enterprise working to promote multilingualism and intercultural dialogue in Ireland. We have many resources and hold many events that benefit heritage language enterprises around the world.

The New South Wales (NSW) Federation of Community Language Schools was established in Sydney, Australia, in 1978 as a not-for-profit organization. The aim of the Federation is to unite all community language schools and work together to sustain community languages and contribute to the multicultural assets of New South Wales. The organization aims to assist all the community language schools to obtain benefits from the various programs offered by the NSW Government and strive to promote language education.

After more than 40 years of growing, the NSW Federation of Community Language Schools now represents 250 member schools in 460 locations (the number increases every year), with approximately 30,000 students who can choose to learn one or more languages from the 57 different languages available.

Published: Monday, August 6, 2018