The U.S. Department of Education recently launched its “Being Bilingual Is a Superpower” initiative to promote multilingual education and bolster high-quality language programs and a diverse multilingual educator workforce across the country, according to a news release.

The initiative will promote and further the understanding of bilingualism and biliteracy as an educational and economic imperative for student success, global competitiveness and engagement. The new initiative under the Department’s Office of English Language Acquisition seeks to promote research-based bilingual educational opportunities and language instruction in early learning education settings and beyond.

“Make no mistake: Multilingualism is a superpower. Knowing more than one language, acquiring a new language through school, or learning new languages later in life can provide tangible academic, cognitive, economic and sociocultural advantages,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “As our nation continues to grow more diverse, and as our global economy becomes more interconnected, we cannot seize our nation’s full potential to compete and lead the world unless we raise the bar and provide all students with opportunities to become multilingual.”

Data shows that approximately only 20% of the U.S. population speaks more than one language. To underscore the need for bilingual and multilingual education, OELA announced last year nearly $120 million in investments to eligible institutions of higher education and public or private entities with relevant experience and capacity to support educators of English learner students.

Additionally, the USDOE released a letter from Cardona to families, educators and leaders to share resources for English Learner students, including Raise the Bar Metrics and data visualizations, the completed English Language Family Toolkit and a Seal of Biliteracy Infographic.

Get more details on the USDOE’s initiative to promote being bilingual in the full news release.