Useful Advocacy Resources


Useful advocacy Resources



The above picture clearly shows that Japan has invested tremendously in the United States. In 2018, Japan invested $484.4 billion dollars to the U.S., which demonstrates its strong economic power. Japan and the U.S. have strong economic ties and a thriving international market. If students become culturally literate and conversationally competent in the Japanese language, they have a better chance to access this market.


What is Advocacy?

Searchable Institution Directories

Advocacy Graphs and Charts

Sources Which Support Foreign Language Education Advocacy


Sources Which Support Japanese Language Education Advocacy


Other Advocacy Websites



Searchable Institution Directories

Use the following directories to search for institutions which teach Japanese. Share these with your students to make sure they continue studying Japanese after they graduate.

Japan Foundation, Headquarters: Directory of Japanese-Language Educational Institutions 2015 (English and Japanese) Search for institutions which teach Japanese language all over the world. Search by state and education level. Find out what schools are in your area and build your community.
Japan Foundation (through the University of Hawaii): Directory of Japanese Studies in the United States and Canada (English only) The institutions in this directory also feature course names and degrees offered. Very useful for high school students looking for colleges have Japanese majors.



Advocacy Graphs and Charts

Use the following PDFs to help you advocate for Japanese language at your school by putting them in PowerPoint presentations or handouts. The chart at the top of this page is included. Please remember to give credit to the sources for the data and to Japan Foundation for making the slides.

Gross Domestic Product of Top 15 Countries (2018, World Bank) [PDF/291KB] Japan's domestic product was the third highest in the world for 2018.
Top 10 Countries' Total Direct Investment in the U.S. (2018, Organization for International Investment) [PDF/134KB] Japan's total direct investment in America is topped only by the U.K.
Gallup Poll: Americans’ Overall Opinions of Foreign Countries (2019, Gallup) According to this Gallup poll, 86% of Americans view Japan favorably.

Top 10 Destinations to Study Abroad 2019 (2019, Go Overseas)

In 2019, Japan rose from #7 (2018) to #1 in most popular country to study abroad.

Trade Report Between Japan and United States (2015, Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry)

This lists how much Japan invests, spends, creates jobs, and purchases goods from each state.



Sources Which Support Foreign Language Education Advocacy

Use the following resources to spread awareness of the importance of foreign language learning.


ACTFL: Lead with Languages

Excellent, high quality video explaining the need for foreign language education in America. Part of ACTFL's Lead with Languages campaign. See the Japanese page here: Lead with Languages: Japanese.

Univerity of Florida Center for Business Education and Research: Are We Prepared for the Jobs of the Future?

High quality textual video about the importance of cultural competence and language skill in future business.



Middlebury interactive languages: 5 Ways Being Bilingual Makes You Smarter [POSTER]

Printable poster about the benefits of second language learning.

Why Your Kids Should Learn a Second Language. Early Childhood Education Web. 19 Sep 2014.

Easy to read article with graphics and statistics explaining the benefits of learning a second language in childhood. Has a list of references at the bottom.

University of North Carolina Asheville: Career Center: What Can I Do With a Major in Foreign Language?

List of careers which use foreign language.




*NEW* Mitchell, Corey.  U.S. Economy Needs More Foreign Language Studies to Stay Competitive  Education Week, 21 May 2019.

There are not enough employees who speak another language other than English, which has affected business opportunities. This article focuses on the connection on languages and U.S Economy.

Rogers, Kate.  As the Earth Feels Ever Smaller, Demand for Translators and Interpreters Skyrocket.  CNBC, 7 July 2017.  Accessed 25 July 2017. Employment outlook for those in the translation and interpretation fields expected to grow as businesses become more globalized.

Kinzler, Katherine. The Superior Social Skills of Bilinguals. New York Times, 11 Mar 2016. Accessed 17 Mar 2016.

A study showed that bilingual children and more likely to understanding things from someone else's perspective.

Casap, Jaime. Jaime Casap Explains Why Global Competence Matters: It's Not Really a Small World. Education Week, 18 May 2015. Accessed 28 May 2015.

Jaime Casap from Google, Inc explains why it's important to be globally competent: "We need to create a generation of critically-thinking, collaborative problem solvers. Students who know and understand world issues. "

Callahan, Rebecca. Know more than one language? Don't give up!, 9 Mar 2015.

This article clearly explains the benefits of knowing more than one language and links to its academic sources throughout the piece.

Johnson: What is a foreign language worth?, 11 Mar 2014.

Well-researched article about language skills and corresponding wage increases.

Burns, Judith. Bilingual children 'show advantage' in noisy classrooms. BBC News, 13 Oct 2014.

Article about an experiment testing children's ability to answer questions despite distractions. Bilingual children showed a significantly better ability to answer.

Kalkan, Bilal. "Benefits of Being Bilingual in the 21st Century." Daily, 10 Sep 2014.

Article clearly stating the benefits of knowing a second language.

Makey, Alison. What happens in the brain when you learn a language?, 4 Sep 2014.

Article about a Swedish study showing a significant difference in brain growth between a group which learned a language and a control group which did not. Also features interesting information about the way Japanese people hear "r" and "l" sounds.

Chan, Amanda L. 7 Reasons Why It's Good To Speak Another Language. Huffington Post, June 14, 2014.

An article citing research on the benefits of learning a second language.

The Liberal Arts Majors That Pay the Most. Lauren Weber. The Wall Street Journal, May 15, 2014.

An online Wall Street Journal article that states that out of all liberal arts majors, 2014 graduates who majored in foreign language and literature are being offered jobs with the highest salaries.

CNNTravel: Studying abroad could give you an edge in the job market. Jareen Imam. April 4, 2014.

This article features a video interview with Michelle Obama about the value and importance of international travel and study abroad. In fact, the first question that First Lady Obama gets is from someone who studied abroad in Kyoto!

Day Translations: 10 Japanese Language Fun Facts. Maria Di Lorenzo. November 21, 2019.

This article talks about great reasons to start learning Japanese! There are many reasons but this focuses on the top 10 unique reasons. 


American Academy of Arts & Sciences (2017), America’s Languages: Investing in Language Education for the 21st Century.

"While English continues to be the lingua franca for world trade and diplomacy, there is an emerging consensus among leaders in business and politics, teachers, scientists, and community members that proficiency in English is not sufficient to meet the nation’s needs in a shrinking world, nor the needs of individual citizens who interact with other peoples and cultures more than at any other time in human history."

New American Economy (2017), Not Lost In Translation: The Growing Importance of Foreign Language Skills in the U.S. Job Market.

The number of jobs aimed at bilingual workers more than doubled from 2010 to 2015, growing to 630,000.

Gándara, P. (2015), Is There Really a Labor Market Advantage to Being Bilingual in the U.S.?. ETS Research Report Series, 2015: 1–34. doi: 10.1002/ets2.12054

This study includes past and current research into the advantages of being bilingual in the US labor market. The newest research shows that bilinguals earn more income annual, go to college at higher rates, and have more social networks., U.S. Businesses Need Languages & Multiculturalism. 15 Sep 2015.

"A recent survey of more than 2,000 U.S. Human Resources (HR) managers found that 70% of respondents indicate that higher education in the U.S. needs to do more to prepare graduates in terms of language skills and multicultural experience."

Rivers, W. P., Robinson, J. P., Harwood, P. G. and Brecht, R. D. (2013), Language Votes: Attitudes Toward Foreign Language Policies. Foreign Language Annals, 46: 329–338.

Academic article researching public opinion on foreign language education in America. Key finding: in 2008, 80% of respondents agreed that "children in the United States should learn a second language fluently before they finish high school." 68% agreed that foreign language education is as important as learning math and science in school.

ACTFL: What the Research Shows

Lists of scholarly research involving the benefits of second language education.

Asia Society Education page

Features articles on topics like benefits of language learning.

Center for Applied Linguistics: Foreign Language Teaching in US Schools: Results of a National Survey: Executive Summary

Data from nationwide 2008 K-12 survey of 5,000 public and private schools. CAL conducts this survey once in a decade.

American Councils for International Education: The National K-12 Foreign Language Enrollment Survey Report (June 2017)

"The National K-12 Foreign Language Enrollment Survey collects and analyzes K-12 foreign language enrollment data as it currently stands in the United States, where more than 21 percent of households speak a language other than English at home." 


Sources Which Support Japanese Language Education Advocacy

Use the following resources to show administrators the value of your Japanese language program.


JFLA Interview with Marty Friedman

Advocacy video featuring heavy metal guitarist and Japanese TV star Marty Friedman. Full interview also available.

Parable Cinematography, How Japanese Changed My Life

Short video of a young man talking about why he's studying Japanese.



The Japan Times. "Foreign Student Times, Vol. 4," 2016.

Short newspaper in Japanese and English with information about studying in Japan and the job market.

American Association of Teachers of Japanese: Why Study Japanese? Ten Reasons

The AATJ advocacy page also features testamonials about the importance of Japanese from students, parents, teachers, and professionals and is an excellent resource for other advocacy materials.

Meyer, Erin. "Looking Another Culture in the Eye." New York Times Job Market, 13 Sep 2014.

This New York Times article discusses the importance of being aware of how you conduct yourself in another culture. It talks specifically about giving presentations in Japan.

Nikkei Asian Review (July 2019): “Multinationals woo Japan's foreign students amid labor crunch”

Article about Japanese firms hiring non-Japanese people who speak Japanese.

Japan Times article: Is the JLPT really worth it?

Article about the importance of having JLPT certification for Japan's job market.


Asia Matters for America: Japan Matters for America

Articles and data about the strong relationship between Japan and America, with graphs.

Survey on Japanese-Language Education Abroad 2015

The Japan Foundation's worldwide survey, conducted every 3 years.

State Trade Data

Click on "Imports and Exports" to find data on your state's business connection with Japan.

US-Japan Business Council: Pacific Partners: Japan's Economic Importance to the United States

This article's statistics are from 2010. Every state has a page detailing its economic relationship with Japan: rank as an export destination, number of Japan-affiliated companies, and jobs created by those affiliates.

Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO): Survey of Japanese Companies in Southern California 2016

JETRO has offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York. Contact them for information about Japan-affiliated businesses in your area. According to this JETRO survey, there are 700 Japanese companies in Southern California and 96.4% of their employees are hired locally. This kind of information can help convince your school administrator that Japanese language skill would be desirable in a potential employee.

American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) and National Research Center for Colleges and University Admissions (NRCUA): 2010 Annual Report: Cooperative Research Program

This large-scale student survey shows that Japanese is the 9th most taught language in America, and the 5th most desired language.

The World Bank, World Development Indicators, GDP (Current US$)

Find the latest figures for Japan's gross domestic product to show Japan's economic strength (comparative chart available above).

U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis: “Foreign Direct Investment in the U.S., Foreign Direct Investment Position in the United States on a Historical-Cost Basis

Lists of figures detailing direct investment in American business by other countries. Japan's is second in the world (comparative chart available above). Click "Direct Investment" under International Data. Click "Begin Using the Data." Click "Foreign Direct Investment in the United States." Finally, click "Foreign Direct Investment Position in the United States on a Historical-Cost Basis" to get a chart.

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education: “Consultation with Federal Agencies on Areas of National Need” (updated 3/27/2013)

Document listing federal agencies and their recommendations about the need for foreign language expertise (list of those which recommend Japanese above).

Institute of International Education: Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange 2016

Survey about U.S. students studying abroad, and international students studying in the U.S. (comparative table available above). Japan is tenth most popular study abroad destination.


Other Advocacy Websites


AATJ Advocacy Website American Association of Teachers of Japanese (AATJ) holds advocacy workshops and webinars, and has the latest Japanese advocacy news in their newsletter. Website: Japanese language advocacy articles, testimonials, and ideas.
ACTFL Advocacy Website American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) holds a massive annual conference, gathers data, and promotes advocacy. Website: General foreign language advocacy news and data. Resources for political advocacy at the federal level.
JNCL-NCLIS Advocacy Website This organization's purpose is to fight for foreign language policy in Congress. Also has resources for managing study abroad programs and many up-to-date articles about foreign language advocacy in general.
CSCTFL Advocacy Website Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (CSCTFL) serves 17 midwestern states. Workshops, grants, and awards available. Brochures about the benefits of language learning.
CLTA Advocacy Website California Language Teachers Assocation (CLTA): website has many articles about benefits of multilingualism, updates about foreign language policy in Washington, and a how-to guide for publicizing an event.
MAFLA Advocacy Website Massachusetts Foreign Language Assocation (MaFLA): lists of helpful articles and current advocacy news.
Eric Digest Advocacy Article Strategies and case studies of advocacy in New Mexico.
FLANC Advocacy Website Foreign Language Assocation of North Carolina (FLANC): Lists of associations and ideas. Step by step guide on sending a message to congress.
PSMLA Advocacy Website Penn State Modern Language Association (PSMLA): Recent news and articles.

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