Introducing Richard (Dick) Brecht (Episode 60)

“In the United States, we have what I call America’s languages. They are the indigenous languages. They are the colonial languages. They are the immigrant languages and refugee languages. They are the foreign languages or world languages. They are sign languages. These are all America’s languages because Americans are human beings too. And human beings are naturally multilingual. And if we understand that, we’ll understand diversity, inclusion and access so much better than we do now in this country.”

Dick Brecht’s Bio

Co-Director, American Councils for International Education Research Center

Professor Emeritus, University of Maryland

Richard Brecht, Harvard University Ph.D. has five decades of leadership in language research and policy in academe, government, Native American and heritage communities, private business and NGOs. He has been a founder and leader of more than a dozen national language organizations and projects, including ACTR, ACIE, NFLC, NCOLCTL, CASL, and ARC. Widely published, Brecht has helped convene major public discussions on language in the United States and abroad that have galvanized collaboration across education, industry, government, heritage communities, national academies and foreign partners. Dr. Brecht has testified multiple times in Congress before committees in the House and Senate. Currently, Dr. Brecht is co-founder and chief language officer of JeenieTM  (, the goal of which is to provide on-demand supportive interpretation globally. Having authored one of the briefing papers for the AAAS Commission on language education, “America’s Languages”, he is currently Project Director for the America’s Languages Working Group.


  1. American Councils for International Education ( )
  2. America’s Languages Portal: Model Programs and Practices Advancing Equitable Access in U.S. Language Education ( )
  3. America’s Languages: Investing in Language Education for the 21st Century (
  4. American Academy of Arts and Sciences: America’s Languages Briefing paper:
  5. JeenieTM  A live, human interpreter when you need them.

To learn more about previous guests on It’s About Language or access other episodes of the podcast, visit It’s About Language or click on the Podcast tab above.

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