Guiding Questions

(Compiled by Lynn Fulton-Archer, Brenda Gaver, Nicole Naditz, & Jane Rauschenberg)

1) Who is the "community" in community outreach? How broad or narrow is the definition?

2) In what ways do we invite the community in as partners in our work rather than merely reach out?

3) What purpose(s) does community outreach serve? What goals can be achieved through effective community outreach?

4) How does community outreach function in rural monolingual regions?

5) Who are the stakeholders in community outreach? How does community outreach benefit each group? What role do students themselves play in community outreach efforts?

6) How can community outreach efforts best be organized? How do you determine the best group to lead specific efforts?

7) What factors influence the choice of particular activities and strategies in each institution’s community outreach efforts?

Key Concepts

(Compiled by Lynn Fulton-Archer, Brenda Gaver, Nicole Naditz, & Jane Rauschenberg)
  • advocacy
  • articulation
  • awareness
  • communities goal area (of the National Standards)
  • diverse populations
  • family
  • global-regional-local-school
  • government support (local-state-federal)
  • heritage speakers
  • interdisciplinary
  • leadership
  • media outlets
  • multicultural
  • parental involvement
  • partnerships
  • program branding
  • program support
  • promotion
  • publishing and publications
  • school-business connections
  • service learning
  • stakeholders

Guiding Principles

(Compiled by Lynn Fulton-Archer, Brenda Gaver, Nicole Naditz, & Jane Rauschenberg)

1) Authentic, engaging, and purposeful linguistic and cultural experiences occur in multiple settings within the school community and through outreach to a broader community.

2) “Community” must be defined before outreach can begin. The targeted community, whether it be local, regional, national or global, will influence the experiences pursued.

3) The experiences pursued support and sustain communities by providing increased, meaningful interaction among educators, students and community members, interaction that benefits stakeholders.

4) Stakeholders must be involved in planning, implementation, and reflection in an ongoing cycle.

5) This ongoing cycle of community outreach supports and sustains teachers by providing interest in and promotion of world language programs.

6) World language programs should include effective community outreach experiences as part of an integrated curriculum.

7) An integrated curriculum, involving both classroom and community-based interactions, benefits students by providing authentic, engaging and purposeful linguistic and cultural experiences.

Examples of Community Outreach Efforts

Colburn, Carole. (2006, May 23). Project HELP, HOUSE, SERVE, SHARC, SHED, & SKILL. Carole's Corner: Carole's Lessons. Retrieved March 12, 2006, from

The Eighth-grade Lessons column of this page contains project description sheets, grading rubrics, and support materials for three different interdisciplinary, service-based learning projects that were designed to give students opportunities to use their technology skills to address social issues affecting their community. chericem1 external image chericem1-sm.jpg

Stanard, Alexa. (2006, May 22). Computer project in Howell connects students and seniors. The Detroit News. Retrieved June 3, 2003, from Now available here.

This news article describes a service-learning project designed to help high school students learn more about the issues facing senior citizens while equipping senior citizens to make use of basic technologies like e-mail, Internet research, and Microsoft Word. chericem1 external image chericem1-sm.jpg

More Community Outreach Resources

Mentoring, Leadership, & Change 2006: Community Outreach - This link will take you to the work of the Community Outreach Group from the MLC 2006 Summer Institute.

Technological Resources for Supporting Community Outreach

Audacity – Phenomenal, free software you can download and use just like a tape-recorder. Great for creating short recordings of student activities, interviews, or other special projects for distribution to specific audiences in the community. You can also use it to edit, layer, or remove background noise from audio tracks. Save the files as MP3s that can be exported to iPods! - chericem1 chericem1

Blogger - Use a variety of pre-made templates to create your own blogs that support the uploading of media-based content for free. A classroom blog can be a great way to make your program visible to parents, colleagues, administrators, and community members. - chericem1 chericem1

Brochure Creator - Design brochures and flyers that advertise your program and advocate for early language learning with just a few clicks by selecting themes and templates, editing the text, adding your own images, and printing. - chericem1 external image chericem1-sm.jpg

BubblePLY - Allows you to add speech and thought bubbles to any online video, which means that you can now add a layer of commentary to existing videos in ways that allow you to draw viewers' attention to important aspects of video-based representations of your program. - chericem1 external image chericem1-sm.jpg - Easy-to-use, online, colorful graphic organizer that is shareable. Great for visually communicating the affordances of your program to others in a way that is easy to absorb and understand. - chericem1 chericem1

Chat Creator - Lets you add a chat window to your site so that community members can communicate with you when you are online - chericem1 external image chericem1-sm.jpg

ClassTools - Provides flash-based templates for the creation of graphic organizers, puzzles, and worksheets. Use them to create trivia quizzes about the benefits of early language learning to raise awareness in the community. - chericem1 chericem1

ClustrMaps - Lets you add a cluster map to your website that shows the geographical locations of all its visitors. A great way for you to make the reach of your advocacy efforts more visible to community members. - chericem1 chericem1

Comeeko - Free, well-designed software that lets you create your own comic strips (using photos or images) and save them for others to view. Students will enjoy creating comic strips that explain why learning a foreign language is important and others will enjoy reading them!

Create Your Scenario - Darling tool that lets you select characters, type lines for each one, save the work, and generate a playscript. These could be used for creating simple plays that elementary students can perform in the target language for community members. - This free social bookmarking site allows you to create, organize, and share an annotated list of online bookmarks to your favorite websites with colleagues, students, parents, and community members. By adding new links and then setting your professional blog, class website, school home page, or organization website to receive them, you continuously "feed" the community quality information about early language learning without any extra work! - chericem1 external image chericem1-sm.jpg

Dumpr - This free online suite of tools allows you to edit your Flickr photos in order to turn them into coloring book images (VERY COOL), make them look old, turn them into globes, or add reflections. You can then save them to your Flickr account. (Still in beta) Great for getting positive images of your program out into the community and on people's minds.

Evite - This site allows you to design custom invitations for various kinds of events, draft a guest list, send the invitations, and track the responses automatically. You can choose from pre-made themes and templates, or create your own. A great way to encourage community participation in classroom events and activities.

FDs Flickr Toys - Some FUN things you can do to Flickr photos (such as create CD covers, magazine covers, mosaics, trading cards, etc.) that would make fun community outreach tools.

Flickr - Allows you to create libraries of images that you can share with others and is a particularly good place to "store" a shared collection of photos that can be used to publicize your program.

Generator Blog - A fantastic blog that contains links to all sorts of free, interesting generators (such as cereal boxes, insurance cards, money, etc.) that would be great tools for students to use in creating creative language awareness campaigns for the community.

Go2Web2.0 Directory - A handy directory of Web 2.0 services, many of which can be used for community outreach purposes.

Google Alerts – Lets you have Google notify you via an e-mail message when anything is posted on the web on the topic of your choice. Encourage people to use your program name as the search term, then make sure you use blogs, the media, websites, and wikis to get the word out about the things you are doing in your program so that people who have subscribed will be alerted!

Google Reader - After creating a free account, community members can use this service to keep track of the webpages to which they have "subscribed" (for free and very easily) using RSS technology. Parents can "subscribe" to your website, their children's blogs, etc. - Allows you to create free quizzes, polls, and surveys that you can use on your blog, MySpace, etc. A useful way to solicit input from the community.

Jumpcut - Allows you to edit digital video for free online. A good tool for creating short videos that you can use to invite community participation in your program.

Meebo - Lets you manage chat/IM from multiple services all in one window. Also lets you create a customizable chat widget to add to your blog.

Meeting Wizard - A free, online tool that allows you to negotiate a date for an event, send out invitations, collect responses, and send reminders . . . all automatically! Great for inviting community participation in classroom events and activities.

Motivator - Create your own motivational posters for free with a digital photo and a few clicks. Download them, e-mail them, print them, or upload them to Flickr. You can also order print copies. A great way to raise community awareness of the importance of language learning.

Pandora - Type in your favorite artists and Pandora will create "stations" of streaming music that is similar to the work of the artists you have selected, based on research from the Music Genome Project. You can create up to 100 stations for free (registration required)! Use it to encourage the community to listen to artists from your target culture(s) who perform in the target language.

Protopage - Ever wonder what a Web 2.0 webpage will look like? Well, here's the answer! Register for free to get your own page, then customize the content by clicking on any of the tabs and altering their contents. Make as much as you like public or private. Like someone else's content? Simply click import and watch it all get added to your page! Great for keeping the community up-to-date in an organized way regarding various aspects of your program.

Scrapblog - Combines the purposes and multimedia features of blogging with the visual affordances of scrapbooking. Comes with built-in templates and can accommodate music and video too. A super tool for sharing program events with the community.

Singshot - American Idol meets You Tube in a Web 2.0 sort of way . . . record and upload songs just like you might do with photos to Flickr. People can vote on them, etc. - Use premade themes to create slideshows from your photos that you can embed in your blog or website--a great way to invite the community into your classroom.

Skype – Free software that allows you to talk to anyone in the world (up to 4 people at once) through your computer for free with a cheap headset mic (like the telemarketers wear) as long as the other person also has the software. Great for group conversations about projects. You can also call landlines or cell phones, but there is a charge for that. A wonderful way to invite target language speakers into your classroom.

The Amazing You Tube Tools Collection - A collection of tools to help those interested in using/publishing materials to You Tube.

Tubes - Allows users to drag and drop content (audio files, bookmarks, documents, e-mail contact lists, spreadsheets, videos) into a "tube" that can then be accessed by all those who have been invited to share it. Invitees can also upload content to the tube, making project collaboration easier. The latest versions of content in the tube synch up when the user is online. Click on the Download link to see a 30-second demo.

Webnote Wiki - Allows users to collaboratively take color-coded notes in a space they create and organize them graphically. People can subscribe to your RSS feed.
Wikispaces - Allows you to set up collaborative work spaces where multiple people can collaborate. Allows uploading of documents, files, images, and multimedia in addition to basic text, and includes discussion boards for every page, editing histories, revert options, RSS subscriptions, and the ability to review recent changes.

Yugma - Free Web 2.0 videoconferencing software that can be used to give presentations to up to ten people in the community at a time for free. (Read more about Tim Lauer's experiences with it here: