Vesna Dimitrieska awarded for advancing world language education in Indiana

Vesna Dimitrieska, coordinator of global education initiatives at Indiana University’s Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies and School of Education, has received the 2024 Central States Paul Simon Award for her work advancing world language education in Indiana. The award is conferred annually by the Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages on an individual or group outside of the language teaching profession that has demonstrated leadership in the promotion of language learning and international understanding.

Dimitrieska’s work focuses on expanding world language programs and internationalizing curricula in K-12 and post-secondary institutions across Indiana, including rural and Minority Serving Institutions.

She says the work is deeply meaningful to her because of the gap in language education offerings she aims to fill. Because there is no national mandate for world language education, decisions about language courses often fall to states and school districts that may lack the resources to implement them.

“It’s more important than ever to connect schools with world language resources,” said Dimitrieska. “As a multilingual, I have recognized the urgency for more Americans to be bilingual and have worked actively towards changing the current issues with lack of access to early language learning for all. Although multiple recent employer and job market reports showcase the rising demand for bilinguals, simultaneously, we are facing decreasing enrollments in language classes among college students.”

Read more about Dimitrieska’s work at News at IU.