Introducing Linda Egnatz (Episodes 7 & 62)

“If you see a problem, look for a way to fix it. If you see someone who has a need, and you can support them, do it. Our world needs to be a connected space where we care for each other and we look out for each other. Some of us make a pathway for others to follow, and they’ll make it bigger, they’ll make it better. Some of us have to go through the woods and take a few brambles. But when you look back, you’ll be amazed at what’s coming after.

My guest for Episodes 7 and 62, Linda Egnatz, lives that opening quote of hers. And she does so in breakthrough ways that always amaze and dazzle me. I said to her one day, “Many of us think very small: small problem, small solution, small impact. Every time I look around, you’re identifying huge needs or problems, and then figuring out huge pathways to solutions, and grabbing large numbers of people to bring the solutions about. You’re amazing that way!” To which Linda responded cheerfully, “I’m a looking-for-maximums kind of person.” Is she ever! Her maximums are global!

Get to know Linda Egnatz here, and on her Global Seal site, below, along with her links to resources and information to help you step up to both see problems and needs more clearly, and to step in to help make a difference.

And if you are a language student, an educator, a career user of language, part of a business that understands the need for employees with language skills, a parent, a person engaged in an organization that understands the need for language and culture knowledge and skills… anyone who knows language is important, doggone it, register for the free Global CRED conference December 2-3, 2020, a virtual extravaganza of language learners and professionals all learning from one another to solve the problem of global needs, broken connections, and language disempowerment. See the link below for more information and to register. I’ll be presenting there and would love to “see” you and hear from you.

Of herself, Linda says:

“Someone once described me as an optimistic problem solver. What I believe that means is that I’m too analytical or too practical to be an idealistic dreamer, but too impatient with the status quo to not want to improve it, even if the solution isn’t perfect… yet. I do like to ask the question, ‘What if…?’ and I do dream big, but the joy is in accomplishing the small steps that make those imagined visions a reality. When it comes to language, it too is a connector and a problem solver. There is always more to chase and more to learn, but the small communicative encounters along the way with someone I would otherwise never have met is the most satisfying part of being a bilingual. In both my past role as a Spanish teacher and in my current role as the Global Seal of Biliteracy’s Executive Director, I have the unique opportunity to problem solve for language learners and perhaps, more importantly, give them a larger world to embrace.”

Linda Egnatz’s Bio

Linda Egnatz is the Executive Director of the Global Seal of Biliteracy certification program which provides three tiers of language credentials in over 130 languages for free. She is the President-Elect of the Joint National Committee for Languages-National Council for Languages and International Studies (JNCL-NCLIS), Advocacy Chair, and Past President of the Illinois Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ICTFL), and a member of the Global Teachers Club Advisory Council. Egnatz, who is Nationally Board Certified (NBCT), holds a Master’s degree in Spanish Literature from Purdue University. With 38 years of experience teaching Spanish at both the high school and university levels, she brings a breadth of experience and comprehensive understanding of vertical articulation issues and has shared that knowledge in World Language education methods courses as an adjunct instructor at DePaul University.  Egnatz is a 2013 Golden Apple Awardee and was named the 2014 ACTFL National Language Teacher of the Year. She has co-authored research studies on the Seal of Biliteracy and language assessment and was a contributing author to Foreign Language Education in America: Perspectives from K-12, University, Government, and International Learning. Her advocacy work on the Seal of Biliteracy, which includes providing testimony before the Illinois legislature, has been featured in Univision and Chicago Tribune interviews and she continues to be an authoritative voice and advocate for Seal of Biliteracy programs nationally. Egnatz has published in the Foreign Language Annals, Hispania, The Language Educator, Language Magazine, and Education Weekly. She has presented internationally in the U.S., Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East and is a recognized trainer in the area of language proficiency. In her Global Seal role, her focus is to provide a pathway to language certification and to create resources for bilinguals of any age to level up, leverage their bilingualism, and link to future opportunities to use their language skills.

Resources provided and recommended by Linda:

The Global Seal, like state seals of biliteracy, is more focused on language as a tool for one’s life work, and on filling the gaps in the world of businesses, government agencies, and NGOs who need competent language users but struggle to find them, or need to know how to measure their language skills if they do. – Here’s the Global Seal site that gives all the information you need and can share with others on the purposes, uses, approaches, and access to the Global Seal. Here’s also where you can learn more about Linda’s background and credentials and the recognition she has received for her prodigious and transformational work. – In this specific area of the Global Seal site, see how credentialing through the seals of biliteracy available to both students and other users of language lead to enhanced career opportunities and growth. – Here’s an article on the Global Seal and Linda’s work.

Link to study mentioned:  

Linda alludes to a chart which helps both learners of language and those enterprises that need language users to identify what level of language skill is actually needed for the jobs for which they need employees. You can download the PDF of the chart here:

Linda talked about, and I noted above, the the upcoming amazing virtual global language event – and did I mention it is free of charge??? Here’s the link to the event:   

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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