E.g., 11/14/2019
E.g., 11/14/2019

The Joint National Committee for Languages and the National Council for Language and International Studies: Our Voice in Washington

By: Dr. William P. Rivers (Joint National Committee for Languages & the National Council for Languages and International Studies - Joint National Committee for Languages & National Council for Languages and International Studies


16 October 2012

Learn about how the JNCL-NCLIS represents the language profession in the USA and how you can get involved in their projects.

Language in the US continues to expand rapidly, and is now a $15b industry, representing some 6000 businesses employing hundreds of thousands of high-wage professionals. When added together with the public sector – teachers, diplomats, and many others – some 500,000 Americans work to forge understanding across cultures and languages, in service of our economy and national security.

The language enterprise includes translation, interpreting, globalization, localization, machine translation, human language technology, language training, testing, test development, materials development, tools development, and many other sub-sectors. Compared to other professions – engineering, the health professions, architecture – the language enterprise is at an early stage of developing a cohesive presence in terms of public awareness, client education, governmental relations, accreditation, standards development, and standards enforcement.

The Joint National Committee for Languages and the National Council for Language and International Studies (JNCL-NCLIS) represent the language profession to the US. As language professionals in teaching, translation, interpreting, testing, research, and many other fields, we raise public awareness of language as an enterprise vital to national well-being, one that employs some 500,000 Americans working to foster mutual understanding and deserving of continued public support. As JNCL-NCLIS Executive Director, Dr. Bill Rivers, says, “Language and culture are at the intersection of globalization, the modern information economy, and global cooperation.”

Through advocating for the language profession in the US, JNCL-NCLIS works to

  • Facilitate the free movement of people, information, and ideas,
  • Build up mutual understanding and acceptance of cultural and linguistic diversity, and
  • Promote the personal development of the individual, through our work as professionals in the language enterprise.

JNCL-NCLIS and its members advocate to shape national policy for foreign language education and to raise the profile of the language enterprise.

JNCL-NCLIS holds an annual delegate assembly and legislative day in the spring, affording members the opportunity to meet with their senators and representatives as well as US Government officials to advocate directly for foreign language education. In the coming year, we will launch new features for the membership, to include webinars on advocacy, funding guides, and an on-line policy collaborative. Most importantly, NCLIS will soon admit private sector companies to membership, and will represent the language enterprise as a whole – industry and the educational sector on which the industry depends – to the public, the government, and consumers.

For more information: [email protected]