Rethinking Language Programs: Innovative Recruiting and Retention Initiatives (Conference Panel - PAMLA)

deadline for submissions: 
June 30, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Conference

CFP - Conference Panel: "Rethinking Language Programs: Innovative Recruiting and Retention Initiatives

Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association Conference

October 26-29, 2023


In its latest U.S. Higher Education Enrollment Census completed in 2016, the Modern Language Association reported a 9.2% enrollment decrease in foreign language courses, as well as a 5.3% drop in the number of language programs between fall 2013 and fall 2016. This trend has probably deepened since 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Necessary restrictions set in place in many American colleges and universities regarding face-to-face instruction, study abroad programs, and extra-curricular events—among other things—have undoubtedly made language learning less enticing to students. Nevertheless, as the MLA census acknowledged enrollment concerns, it also reported that “many language programs remain[ed] strong” (ii), and highlighted “the value of innovative curricular thinking” (ii).

This session welcomes proposals that explore innovative strategies to increase student recruitment and/or retention in undergraduate language programs—all foreign languages welcome. Presenters will describe the initiatives they have put in place, show evidence of their success, and discuss challenges or drawbacks they may have encountered in the process. Initiatives that can be adapted to promote different languages are of particular interest. Presentations will be in English.

For any questions, please contact Dr. Aurélie Van de Wiele (

Please submit proposals via that PAMLA online system ( by June 30, 2023.