Leading foreign language teaching

Akash Patel, who teaches Spanish at Ignite Middle School, was recently elected to the highest office in the country for foreign language teachers. Patel will serve the next three years as president-elect, president and immediate past president of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.

Patel’s main focus will be on addressing the foreign language teacher shortage. In his role as leader of the national organization, he will advocate for equitable access to foreign language certification, support the teaching of multiple languages in elementary school, and address state legislatures to push for foreign language teacher representation in the states’ educational agencies.

Patel is in his fifth year in Dallas ISD and his seventh teaching. Originally from India, he speaks six languages and has visited over 60 countries. His passion is connecting students with others from around the world and creating empathetic global citizens. In 2018, after the passing of his twin brother, Anand “Happy” Patel, he and Dallas ISD’s World Languages Director Amy Anderton created the nonprofit Happy World Foundation Inc. to promote global citizenship education, cross-cultural understanding and citizen-to-citizen diplomacy in schools and communities worldwide.

For more information about ACTFL, please visit www.ACTFL.org.


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