The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

Chinese teacher makes visit to Capitol Hill for annual Language Advocacy Day event

Printed with permission of Bin He
Chinese Teacher Bin He stands together with language teachers from around the country at an event on Capitol Hill. The event is hosted annually in Washington D.C. and serves as an opportunity for language teachers to discuss and meet with legislators.

Chinese teacher Bin He visited the U.S. Congress to participate in the Language Advocacy Day event hosted by the Joint National Committee for Languages (JNCL) on Oct. 16. The event invited 100 language educators from around the world to meet with legislators on Capitol Hill and discuss advocacy for more equitable language education legislation. The event also included advocacy training, meetings with federal legislators and roundtable discussions.

He attended advocacy trainingwith Mark Dennin, who serves as Legislative Director for Congressman Jimmy Panetta, and participated in the American’s Languages Caucus Briefing with education leaders around the world. He said the eventwas a valuable experience.

“My favorite part of the Language Advocacy Day experience was the opportunity to meet with federal legislators and advocate for multilingualism and language education with language educators across [different] countries,” He said. “It was inspiring to see so many people from different walks of life come together to support this important cause.”

He also met with the Legislative Correspondent for Representative Tony Cardenas and the Policy Advisor for Senator Alex Padilla to discuss the importance of world language programs for individual students and California as a whole. He shared how the World Language Department at the school helps students prepare for the real world. The event culminated in a meeting with Laurent Bill, the Ambassador of France to the U.S., at the Planet Word Museum, where He exchanged ideas and talked about creating a multilingual learning program. They also discussed the critical role of languages in job growth, national security and social justice.

He said he appreciated being able to talk with major leaders in the U.S. who shared his passion for language learning.

“I enjoyed the roundtable policy discussions,” He said. “It was a great opportunity to learn more about the challenges and opportunities facing language education in the United States. It was also a chance to network with other language advocates and share ideas about how we can best promote multilingualism.”

He said the event was valuable because of the crucial role languages play in society today.

“Language advocacy is important because it helps to ensure that all students have access to high-quality language education,” He said. “Language education is essential for preparing students for success and for promoting cultural understanding and global citizenship.”

He said he hopes students will continue to explore languages outside of the classroom.

“Language learning is a gift that you can give yourself,” He said. “It opens up a world of new possibilities, both academically and personally. In addition to [their] language classes, I encourage [students] to participate in exchange programs and field trips, explore the local language communities and find ways to use the language outside of school.”

Nicole Lee ’24, one of He’s students, said his enthusiasm for languages is evident in his teaching.

“I can see from my own classroom experience that he is super passionate about teaching language, and our class is extremely proud of him,” Lee said.

Ava Seib ’24, who is also in He’s class, said she is grateful to have a teacher who cares about his students and their language learning experience.

“As a student who is dedicated to learning languages, especially Chinese, knowing that my teacher went to Congress for an event like this is impactful and inspiring because it demonstrates how passionate he is about his job and his students,” Seib said.

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Chloe Park, Presentations Managing Editor
Grant Park, Executive Editor

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