Mission, Vision, and Goals

The Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (NECTFL) is the largest and second-oldest (1954) multi-language association of pre-kindergarten through university teachers in the country. Although nominally a regional association, its activities, publications, and annual conference attract participants from around the country and the globe. Currently, about 40 states and 10 foreign countries send a total of 1,500 educators to the Northeast Conference each year.

The Northeast Conference traces its origins back to the 1940s and 50s; today it is governed by an Advisory Council and by a Board of Directors composed of 15 language educators from the NECTFL region, supported by the central office staff. The Board chooses a Conference Chair annually, and its committees carry out the organization’s mission of providing high-quality professional learning opportunities in our region.


NECTFL supports language educators through professional learning opportunities, leadership, advocacy, and outreach.


Building culturally diverse, multilingual, and socially-engaged global communities.


Adopted by the NECTFL Board of Directors, April 2021.

Organizational Goals


1) Sponsor the annual conference that focuses on a specific theme of importance to the teaching and learning of world languages.

  • Develop new procedures to ensure selection of pertinent and exciting conference themes.
  • Solicit and select session proposals for the annual conference that emphasize the importance of linking language and culture at all levels of the curriculum.
  • Implement procedures to increase and diversify conference attendance.
  • Review feedback procedures to ensure that future programs meet constituents needs.


2) Provide opportunities for the development of outstanding language teaching and effective leadership in the profession.

  • Develop and sustain the Urban Initiative, providing professional development outreach to under-resourced and underserved urban schools.
  • Collaborate with exhibitors to promote the development of instructional materials that address the changing needs of teachers and learners in different settings (see also #4).
  • Partner with local and state associations to design and implement NECTFL workshops in their areas.
  • Create a speakers bureau of individuals to speak on a range of topics related to teaching and learning other languages.
  • Provide support to encourage greater participation of novice teachers at the annual conference.
  • Explore and report to the board on alternative delivery methods for professional development.

3) Promote the study of world languages and cultures among individual, local, state, regional, national, and international audiences.

  • Review successful advocacy initiatives at all levels (e.g., AATs, state associations, ACTFL) and share the information with our 14 state organizations and NECTFL attendees (e.g., publicize on the NECTFL web site to help disseminate their efforts).
  • Cultivate contacts and sustain relationships with influential language advocates who are not in the profession (e.g. Dodge Award Winners, corporate diversity officers).

4) Partner with both business (exhibitors, sponsors, etc.) and professional organizations at the local, state, regional, national and international levels on matters of mutual interest.

  • Conduct a needs assessment with state organizations to determine areas of mutual interest.
  • Look to organizations beyond language and educational associations to determine areas of mutual interest.
  • Develop a moderated forum on the NECTFL website where constituent groups can share initiatives and concerns. (see also #3A)


5) Generate and sustain income to support the operating expenses of the organization.

  • Conduct an analysis of conference fee differentiation
  • Explore possibility of sources of other attendee groups.
  • Establish a donation section on the NECTFL website for contributions (e.g. Fund for the Future).
  • Maintain a reserve account to provide a minimum of six months operating expenses for the organization.

6) Develop and submit grant applications to funding agencies to support special initiatives of the organization

  • Submit an application for a grant to support a summer seminar on non-traditional approaches to teaching culture in both commonly and less commonly taught languages.
  • Submit an application for a grant to support a summer seminar on sharing and dissemination best practices among language teachers
  • Sponsor an invitational meeting of 5 to 6 representatives from unique types of institutions (e.g. urban, rural, community colleges, novice teachers) to identify the particular challenges and opportunities facing foreign language teachers in these settings. (see also #2A)
  • Submit an application for a grant to support a summer seminar on addressing the unique challenges and opportunities of teaching foreign languages in urban school districts. (see also #2A)


7) Maintain ongoing monitoring and evaluation of NECTFLs effectiveness in attaining its goals.

  • Establish an annual charge for the board to review all goals and to update them as needed.
  • Charge standing committee chairs with annual committee evaluation.
  • Identify the board committee charged with final