In episode 118, Shannon Mason interviews Pete Swanson about the language teacher shortage and how recruitment and retention efforts may help address the issue. Shannon and Pete are two of the leading scholars researching the issue, and the show notes link to a bit of additional research so listeners can follow up after hearing the episode.


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Show Notes

We welcome feedback, resources, and diverse perspectives on this topic! To contribute to the conversation started here, leave us a voicemail or send a text message to (629)888-3398. Or you can follow us on Twitter @weteachlang or use this contact form to send us an email

Dr. Shannon Mason is an education researcher at Nagasaki University in Japan. Shannon has been a guest before on episode 107. You can reach out to her on Twitter at @shan__mason.

Dr. Pete Swanson is a former ACTFL President and current Spanish Instructor at the United States Air Force Academy. You can reach out to him on Twitter @Prof_PSwanson.

Resources related to this episode…

…Learn about ACTFL’s Educators Rising Initiative

  …The Lead with Languages campaign (which was featured on episode 68) also has information about how and why we should address the teacher shortage

…Check out this moment we curated about the language teacher shortage crisis

…And here’s an article from Forbes and another from Jacobin about the economic reasons we see such high turnover for language teachers. Hint: we need to pay teachers what they are worth.

…Here is a video from Sarah Breckley that talks about why we aren’t retaining good teachers. (It’s extremely good.)

…If you want to explore the benefits of language learning as part of your advocacy, check out episode 50 all about what people learn when they learn a language

And a few scholarly articles from our guests…

The World Language Teacher Shortage: Taking a New Direction by Peter Swanson and Shannon Mason

The Congruence of Vocational Interests and the Workplace Environment: Reducing the Language Teacher Shortage by Peter Swanson

Building bridges across institutions to recruit, educate and retain excellent language educators by Peter Swanson and Manuela Wagner (who has been a guest on episode 27)

If you want to cite this episode, our suggested APA reference is:

Johnson, S.M. (Producer), & Mason, S (Interviewer). (2019). We Teach Languages Episode 118: Language Teacher Recruitment and Retention with Pete Swanson [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from


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