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Language Ambassadors Student Recognition Program

Celebrating Multilingualism For All Students

Language Ambassadors Expo was launched in 2019 to bring together students from schools across the county and showcase their language skill in a peer to peer setting.

Debi Bodenheimer
Debi Bodenheimer​
Associate Superintendent
Educational Services
(831) 466-5890
Sofia Sorensen
English Language Development Coordinator
(831) 466-5807

Who are Language Ambassadors?

Language Ambassadors are students in elementary and middle school who are actively developing a world language in addition to English. They are students who, together with their families, schools and communities, recognize the value of multilingualism in our global economy and multicultural society. Language Ambassadors connect people across languages and cultures.

Language Ambassadors is for ALL students at ALL schools. Students may already speak a language other than English with their family. Or, they may speak English at home and interested in learning an additional language. They may be in enrolled in dual language or bilingual programs at school or they may be enrolled in English-only programs at their school.  Students may study the language of their choice.  Past languages studied include: Arabic, ASL, Dutch, Farsi, French, German, Hawaiian, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Mixtec, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog and Yaqui.  Language Ambassadors are invited to share their learning with peers at Language Ambassadors Expo held in April.

Language Ambassador recognition will granted to students in TK/kinder through eighth grade who complete a number of activities throughout the year in a language other than English. The activities ask student to learn, interact and create. By engaging in these activities, students develop the skills and interest in language learning needed to earn the State Seal of Biliteracy at the conclusion of high school. By participating in the program, students build competency for local and global citizenship. The program supports the mission of Global California 2030.

How does our school become part of the program?

Schools interested in participating should designate a School Language Ambassador Advisor and register below.

Language Ambassador Advisors are responsible for disseminating information about the program requirements to their school: staff, families, and students. They will also be responsible for submitting names of students meeting the requirements by the end of April and responsible for distributing student recognition certificates to students who have earned them. Students and families are responsible for completing the activities and documenting their participation. Informational meetings for schools will be held in September.

What do students need to do to earn the recognition?

Students are asked to complete a variety of activities using their additional language/languages and keep a log of their actions. Students may complete the activities at home, in the community or at school. Requirements are based on the student’s grade-level. Students may be at any stage of language development, from emerging to bridging. Language proficiency assessment is NOT part of the program. This is a student recognition program, not a competition. There is no limit to the number of students you can recognize at your school.

Downloadable Information

children dressed in colorful outfits dancing

Language Ambassadors Expo Moves from Idea to Reality

Bonjour, konichiwa, guten-tag, buenos días, fofo, ciao, namaste… these greetings represent some of the sixteen languages heard at the first-ever Language Ambassadors Student Expos held in March.

four students standing in front of sign reading congratulations language embassadors

277 Students Recognized as Language Ambassadors

Language Ambassadors is an enrichment program started by the Santa Cruz County Office of Education in 2016-2017 to promote multilingualism.

young children holding certificates

Over 170 Students Recognized as Language Ambassadors

The pride in the room was palpable as our first groups of Language Ambassadors were recognized.

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