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National Commissions

Commission on Advocacy

Chair: Kathy Stein-Smith, Fairleigh Dickinson University, kathysteinsmith@gmail.com    [2020]

The American Association of Teachers of French (AATF) Commission on Advocacy works to advocate for the French language and Francophone culture in collaboration with  local chapters both to promote awareness of the benefits and value of French language knowledge and to advocate for French language programs at risk.  The Commission rapid-response team is prepared to respond to threats to French programs.

Commission efforts have continued to concentrate on the use of online and social media to increase interest in French language and Francophone culture and on advancement of the research agenda through publications.

In addition, with the goal of developing partnerships with language enterprise stakeholders, Commission members attend and present at conferences in foreign language education-related organizations, and to proactively seek out opportunities to serve in foreign language-related organizations and programs.

Click here to see the Advocacy Facebook page and AATF Advocacy K-12 First Responder Kit

Follow  the Advocacy Twitter Feed @AATFComAdvocacy.

Take a look at the Advocacy Depot and consult the Advocacy Wiki.

Commission on FLES*
(Sequential FLES*, Sequential FLEX, Exploratory, and Immersion)

Chair: Karen Campbell Kuebler, Towson University (MD), e-mail: kkcdanser@gmail.com [2020]

The FLES* Commission has produced a multitude of useful materials for teachers including the Calendrier perpétuel as well as methodological and promotional materials. AATF FLES* Commission members serve as contact persons in many regions and states of the country to provide assistance with FLES*. They serve as a national advisory council on AATF FLES* concerns, research, issues, and projects.

A collection of the most pertinent articles of their annual reports was published in 1998 in a volume entitled A Celebration of FLES* to celebrate the last "duodecade" of activities for the National FLES* Commission of AATF.

The Commission also organizes the FLES* Poster Contest every spring. Click here for more information.

Click here for the Salut les jeunes! column from the National Bulletin.

Commission on Cinema

Co-Chair: Joyce Beckwith, Wilmington High School (MA, ret), e-mail: mmejoyb@aol.com, and Co-Chair: Dolliann Hurtig, Lousiana Tech University, e-mail: dhurtig@latech.edu [2019]

Previously co-chairs of the Commission for the Promotion of French, Joyce Beckwith and Dolliann Hurtig have agreed to chair the newly-created Commission on Cinema.   Cinema is a dynamic media, and film study and the teaching of film embraces the Francophone world.   To this end, the latest project has been  Allons au Cinema: Promoting French Through Films (AATF, 2014) which includes 15 Francophone films for use in the classroom.  Volume II appeared in 2016.  The Co-Chairs have as their next project the publication of Volume III.   It is projected to come out in 2019, and the National Bulletin will be the preferred medium for the dissemination of information with respect to the work of the Commission.

Commission on Middle Schools

Chair: Janel Lafond-Paquin, Rogers High School (RI), e-mail: madamep51@hotmail.com [2018]

The Middle School Commission has published a resource manual for teachers of children’s literature that integrates well into a middle school curriculum. The manual includes bibliographical information on each selection, a list of topics, grammatical structures and cultural aspects (if any) found in the story, as well as many activities for teaching each selection. Commission members are currently working on a second volume based on legends in order to incorporate more culture standards..  If you are interested in being a participant in this project, please contact the Chair. Your submissions are most welcome!

Commission on Technology

Chair: Catherine Ousselin, Mount Vernon High School (WA), e-mail: catherineku72@gmail.com [2019]

The Commission on Technology provides information on the adoption and use of current and innovative Web and mobile device tools. It is a regular sponsor of on-site training, workshops, and social media chats through Twitter and Facebook. The Commission maintains a blog to inform members of new technologies and practical curricular applications. Members of the AATF are encouraged to share their favorite tools via the Commission’s social media channels.  

The Technology Commission Blog has moved to IFProfs.

Commission on High Schools

Chair: Jean Copeland,  J.R. Masterman Middle/High School (PA), email: jean.m.copeland@gmail.com

The High School Commission will be working on a new project, an Interculturality Notebook that will include a variety of real-world topics and cultural lessons.  We will begin by taking a look at some of the culture lessons that we are currently using in our classrooms and examine them through the lens of ACTFL’s Interculturality Benchmarks and Can Do Statements.  If you would like to be a part of this commission, and/or submit your lessons, please contact the chair.


Commission for the Promotion of French

Chair: Justin Frieman Charles,  Round Lake High School (IL), e-mail: justinfrieman@yahoo.com [2019]

The Commission for the Promotion of French was created in the fall of 1994 as a Task Force and chaired by AATF Past-President Marie-Christine Koop until fall 1997, when it became a Commission. Its main objective was to help teachers recruit students by producing various documents such as flyers, guides, teaching ideas, and letters to convince students, parents, and administrators of the value of French. Many of the materials developed by the Task Force and the Commission are available through the AATF Materials Center and On-Line Store. The Commission sponsors regular articles in the National Bulletin entitled "Promotion in Motion."

The Commission is currently working on promotional materials for social media, with the first project being for National French Week 2017.   Based upon the success of that project, other materials will be rolled out in the future.  The possibility of a new series of promotional posters is also being explored at this time.

They are also continuing to create step-by-step guides for activities to promote French in your school and community.The existing guides, as well as other promotional materials can be found on the Commission's site.

Click here to visit the Commission's site.

Commission on Cultural Competence

Co-Chair: Martha Behlow, Geneva Community High School (IL), email: mbehlow@geneva304.org ; Co-Chair: Sheila Conrad, Bettendorf High School (IA), email: sconrad@bettendorf.k12.ia.us  [2020]

The Culture Commission is interested in serving the needs of all French teachers aiming to incorporate culture into their French lessons, at any level. Culture is an integral part of learning another language, and a key element in helping students to develop 21st century skills. We seek to find ways to engage students in cultural learning both inside and outside of the classroom. We believe in using authentic cultural resources to elicit deep thinking and language production.

The Commission chairs present at national AATF conferences, share resources and activities, and gather teacher resources and activities to help all of our teachers develop students with appreciation for the multi-cultural Francophone world.

The Commission now has a Facebook page:  AATFCulture Commission

Commission on Teacher Recruitment & Retention

Co-Chair: Eileen Walvoord, email: eileenwalvoord@gmail.com; Co-Chair: Rebecca Léal, Elmhurst College (IL), email: rebecca.leal@elmhurst.edu [2020]

Given the fact that some French programs are being eliminated because schools cannot find a qualified teacher and that fewer and fewer students are choosing a path toward teaching certification in French, the AATF formed a Task Force, now a Commission to address the issue.

Click here to read the most recent report of the Commission.

Commission on French for Specific Purposes

Chair: E. Nicole Meyer, email: nimeyer@augusta.edu [2021]

The Commission on French for Specific Purposes proposes products, materials, or services that promote the teaching of French for Specific Purposes at all levels. French for Specific Purposes encompasses Business French, French for Health and Medicine, French for Science and Technology, Diplomatic French, French for Tourism, French for Engineering, and so much more. The commission envisions expanding the definition and scope of what is French for Specific Purposes, sharing innovative ideas and teaching materials that can serve to supplement units or provide entire courses from K-16. The commission serves a changing profession, and helps us to promote French to many. We use twitter and facebook to share the latest related news or ideas that you can adapt to your classroom.

We look forward to members contributing to conference sessions and / or workshops at AATF, ACTFL and more. We are working toward a volume oriented to share teaching units and or approaches for French for Specific Purposes, as well as new conceptions of FSP, all of which encompasses a wider audience from FLES, middle school, high school and university), and which reaches beyond the hexagon. Please contact the Chair if you are interested in participating in any related project or presentation!


Last update: February 19, 2019