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Native American Language Reauthorization Bill Signed into Law

On December 20, the Esther Martinez Native American Languages Programs Reauthorization Act (S. 256) was signed into law. The legislation reauthorizes the Native American Languages Preservation and Maintenance grant program and the Esther Martinez Initiative grant program within the Department of Health and Human Services. Both programs support projects to preserve and revitalize Native languages in tribal communities. In addition to reauthorizing the two programs, the legislation increases the maximum possible duration of all Esther Martinez grants from three years to five years and decreases the required minimum number of enrollees in Native American language programs. The text of the bill can be read on congress.gov and more information about the programs can be found on the Department of Health and Human Services website.

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Posted in Issue 1 (January 7), Update, Volume 39 (2020)

White House Releases First-Ever Working Group Report on Language and Communication

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s (OSTP) National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) Subcommittee on Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences recently released the first ever, Report from the Interagency Working Group on Language and Communication, “an inventory of current programmatic activities across Federal agencies and departments that relate to the scientific and technological aspects of language and communication.” The report explains why the government and the American people benefit from its investments in R&D activities relating to language and communication. A key feature of the report is the Language and Communication R&D Taxonomy providing a “common framework for developing a Language and Communication R&D Inventory Survey for collecting, cataloguing, and classifying the various R&D efforts across the Federal Government.” A main finding of the report, resulting from the application of the taxonomy, is that there are a number of cross-agency leveraging opportunities. It also includes an important recommendation that agencies should identify and develop opportunities to optimize the available Language and Communication R&D resources. The Interagency Working Group is comprised of 20 agencies and departments. It is led by Elizabeth R. Albro, Institute of Education Sciences (Department of Education), and CDR Joseph Cohn, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Research & Engineering).

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Posted in Issue 11 (May 31), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

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