National Commissions

Commission on Advocacy

Chair: Kathy Stein-Smith, Fairleigh Dickinson University,    [2017]

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

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, Baltimore County Public Schools (MD), e-mail: [2017]

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 French for Specific Purposes

Chair: Deb Reisinger, Duke University, e-mail: [2018]

Over the years, this commission has produced multiple publications, including multimedia resources on teaching business French. The Commission is currently working toward the expansion of business French at the secondary and post-secondary level, with the goal of creating a network of business French teachers that both reflects and informs current practices and methods in the field of French for Specific Purposes.

Click here to visit the Commission's Web page, and you can like their Facebook page here.

Click here for the most recent report of the commission.

Commission on Cinema

Co-Chair: Joyce Beckwith, Wilmington High School (MA, ret), e-mail:, and Co-Chair: Dolliann Hurtig, Lousiana Tech University, e-mail: [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 High Schools

Chair: Anne Jensen, Gunn High School (CA), e-mail: [2017]

The goal of the AATF High School Commission is to identify the needs specific to high school teachers of French in the areas of curriculum, assessment, the promotion of French at the high school level, and the articulation of high school programs with middle school and post-secondary programs.  The website and Facebook page have been created to help high school teachers of French share resources and collaborate on lesson planning and assessment strategies.  A pedagogical manual Teaching French in the 21st Century, is forthcoming. Sections of the pedagogical manual are also available on line through the website.

 The Commission has produced a flyer targeting guidance counselors entitled Help Wanted. Limited copies are available free of charge to AATF members (send a self-addressed stamped envelope with one or two first class stamps to AATF Headquarters).

Click here for the Commission on High School's Web site.

Commission on Middle Schools

Chair: Janel Lafond-Paquin, Rogers High School (RI), e-mail: [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!

Click here to view teaching units and materials developed by the Commisison in the past.

Commission on Student Standards

Chair: Rebecca Fox, George Mason University (VA), e-mail: [2018]

The Commission on Student Standards provides liaison between the AATF membership and the Joint National Standards Project Collaborative, of which AATF was a founding partner, and which produced the generic document Standards for Foreign Language Learning: Preparing for the 21st Century (1996). Learning scenarios which reflect one or more standards are being solicited from teachers of French for inclusion in the revision of this document.

The latest volume of the National Standards will include the generic standards in hard copy, accompanied by language-specific adaptations of the generic standards for French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Classics, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Russian, Arabic, American Sign Language on CD-ROM, as well as several other languages whose standards are currently under development.

The Commisson recently produced a volume of standards-based activities, Global Connections which is available in the On-Line Store

Commission on Professional Teacher Standards

Chair: Adina Alexandru, Southington Public Schools (CT), e-mail: [2017]

The goal of the Commission is to bridge a solid connection between the (current or future) teachers of French interested in meeting professional national standards and the respective organization that provides/facilitates such services.

We are looking for new members! Let us know if you are interested in serving on this commission by contacting the Chair. The structure of the Commission is informal and open to all AATF members. We need contributions form experienced as well as new teachers of French. Generally, the meetings are taking place virtually through the “GoToMeeting” platform. Click here to visit the Commission's Web site.

Commission on Technology

Chair: Catherine Ousselin, Mount Vernon High School (WA), e-mail: [2016]

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.  

Technology Commission Blog:

Commission for the Promotion of French

Chair: Justin Frieman Charles,  Round Lake High School (IL), e-mail: [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 Wiki.

Click here to visit the Commission's Wiki.

Commission on Universities

Chair: Scott Sheridan, Illinois Wesleyan University, e-mail: [2016]

This commission seeks to promote the study of French language, as well as French and Francophone literature and cultures, at the post-secondary level. The commission’s main objective is to partner with national and international organizations, and to collaborate with colleges, universities, and other AATF commissions (such as Advocacy and the Promotion of French) to achieve our goals. The commission aims to encourage bridges between secondary instruction and college-level teaching of French, including fruitful connections that high school teachers can make with advising students to continue on in French. The Commission on Universities communicates the benefits of other opportunities for using French, such as experiential and service learning, as well as stimulates initiatives for students to cross traditional disciplinary boundaries in their learning.

Commission on At-Risk, High Needs, Minority, and Immigrant Populations

Chair: Margarita Levasseur, Bloom Township School District (IL), e-mail:  [2017]

The Commission on High Needs, At Risk, and Immigrant Populations is geared to help  support teachers of students in high needs and at risk schools through the use of sharing ideas that work in terms of  helping teachers meet the ideas of rigor that meets the demands of Common Core and ACTFL;  lessons and activities that help make French relevant to students and their lives; guiding teachers in terms of helping to build  professional relationships with students, colleagues, administrators and community stakeholders; sharing resources that can help teachers building their programs; and supporting teachers to help them build resilience. "   Please feel free to contact if you have any questions. A Facebook page has been set up.

Last update: Septembber 14, 2017