About WLI-MT

The World Language Initiative - Montana (formerly Friends of World Language) is comprised of Bozeman area community members who value and support the local and global benefits of world language and culture education.

Our goal is to offer authentic and engaging world language and culture programming, resulting in a more welcoming community, and students who are better prepared for a globalized world.

View our World Language Initiative-MT 2017-18 Portfolio

2017-18 Team Members (Staff, Board, Coaches, PAC Volunteers)

Elizabeth Williamson (Founder, Director) with 
Geraldine Govaert (Hyalite World Language PAC Liason)
The original Friends of World Language community group was co-founded by three long-time Bozeman residents in 2012. As parents, they were looking for opportunities to increase their children's exposure to early world language education. Based on conversations with community members and like-minded parents, an idea for k-5 world language enrichment took hold and grew to a full-fledged program in 2013.

With support from the Bozeman School District, Elementary School PACs, and Greater Gallatin United Way -  Friends of World Language, now the MT World Language Initiative, supports nearly 30 volunteer and paid members. With our partners, we offer before-and/after-school language and culture classes in 8 languages. These classes are currently available before or after-school at all 8 Bozeman district elementary schools.

The answer of how to best deliver world language and culture education within our community is still evolving. We are in-line with research identifying early language exposure programs that statistically increases the likelihood of fluency as adults. We also believe in the importance of authentic, play-based programming that incorporates dynamic activities as well as exposure to language in a cultural context. We work hard to deliver as much of our classes as possible in the target language (goal for all of our coaches is to be >70%) as well as content integration language education approaches using art, cooking, and play).

As of 2019, we have 350 students enrolled in after-school classes and over 150 students receiving k-5 language education through our in-school day program.

In 2019, we will to work towards a vision of a vibrant, multi-lingual community, and are working to improve access to the understanding of, and opportunities for world language and culture - in the City of Bozeman, Gallatin County, the State of Montana, and in the Intermountain West.

We look forward to strengthening this program and having a positive impact on the development of our community's children into 21st century global citizens.

Our 2018-19 team of World Language educators at
December 2018 "Best Practices" Training