K-12 Connections

Bridges Program

"Bridges: Children, Languages, World" is a project that offers exploratory language and culture classes to young learners in the greater Bloomington, Indiana area. Knowing that learning world language at an early age enhances linguistic ability overall, the central goal of Bridges is to ignite interest in learning about different languages and cultures and inspire children to pursue both with excitement and enthusiasm throughout their lives.

Bridges puts emphasis on providing classes in Less-Commonly Taught Languages (LCTL), many of which have been identified as 'Critical Needs Languages' by the U.S. State Department. The teaching approach used by instructors is the communicative method, which means fun for kids through games, stories, free play, crafts, puppet shows, and other interactive activities to help children acquire new vocabulary in the target language.

Currently, Bridges programs take place throughout Bloomington, with partner sites such as elementary schools, and neighborhood learning centers. This mutually beneficial relationship among university and non-university partners allows Bridges to offer quality world instruction to children and parents of Monroe County, IN. This year the program is offering online courses and registration is free.

Enroll your child for free    Follow Bridges on Facebook

IU's World Language Festival

World Language Festival (WLF) aims to celebrate the diverse cultures and languages of our world and to showcase the outstanding instruction and language resources at IUB. With support from the College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University, the Center for Language Technology (CeLT) hosts WLF at the IU Bloomington campus every two years. Offering over 75 languages and 80 overseas study programs, IUB is a world renowned university committed to language study and global culture.

Exhibits, presentations and hands-on workshops covering a wide range of topics and interests will be featured. Students will have the opportunity to explore cultures and languages and to use their foreign language skills as well as acquire new ones, especially those of the less-commonly-taught languages. Educators and parents will be able to network with colleagues from around the state and attend training sessions offered by IU language faculty.

The event is free but everybody must have a ticket. Tickets are available online. Information about the event and signup for tickets at our website. Over 60 presentations and exhibits on world languages and cultures.

This event is designed specifically for middle and high school students, teachers, and parents to explore the opportunities IU offers in foreign language and cultural education. Throughout the festival, you will experience first-hand the many languages and cultures from all over the world in a fun and relaxed way. 

IFLTA Conference Exhibit

Each year CLE and CELT have a special exhibit at the IFLTA Conference.  The Indiana Foreign Language Teachers Association (IFLTA) is an all-volunteer organization formed in 1969 to serve teachers of world languages in the state of Indiana. IFLTA's mission is to promote the teaching and learning of world languages and cultures in the state of Indiana by providing professional development opportunities for world language instructors and by advocating for world languages. Please visit our special Exhibit for the 2020 IFLTA Virtual Conference and explore our resources for both K-12 students and teachers.

The International Outreach Council

The Center for Language Excellence is an active member of the International Outreach Council (OIC) at IU whose mission is to reach out to the various public members in the community in a collective effort to educate. During the academic year, the OIC meets monthly to discuss best practices, event planning, and programmatic support. All programs have an international theme and seek to share knowledge about global issues, peoples, and cultures.

OIC at IU collaborates with many communities and organizations to celebrate languages and cultures. One of such organizations is the Lotus Education & Arts Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization based in Bloomington, Indiana.

This year, Lotus Festival Outreach Kits will be distributed to up to 500 families/households in south-central Indiana. The kits are inspired by the diverse music featured in this year’s virtual festival and provide engaging at-home activities for kids and the young-at-heart. Language worksheets created Bridges: Children, Languages, World, which teach introductory vocabulary and pronunciation, and a fun nature scavenger hunt in Finnish, Arabic, and Spanish. Below you find resources (downloadable lesson plans, booklets, and other materials) collected through a partnership with various centers at Indiana University.

The Center for P–16 Research and Collaboration Global Education Initiatives

In collaboration with the School of Global and International Studies, the Center for P-16 Research and Collaboration in the School of Education has developed programs of various length that promote global mindedness and global competencies for students, pre-service and in-service teachers, and faculty members.

  • Dual Language Immersion (DLI) program
  • The Global Competence Workshop Series (GCWS) 
  • Global Literacy Invitation Project
  • In Service Teachers Workshops
  • School of Education Faculty Workshops
  • The Principals Academy
  • Library Resources

These programs are in line with campus efforts to internationalize K-12 education in Indiana and by intertwining academic, practical and research components they raise awareness about global issues and foster deeper understanding of other cultures from different parts of the world.