One City Project is a non-profit organization committed to promoting language education programs that reflect the cultures and communities of one’s city. We are committed to high-quality language classrooms, community-driven programming, and support for languages that are high-spoken in our community but which lack programs or in-school support.
Our vision is to create a city where all members of the community benefit from our deep linguistic and cultural diversity, and to create cities where languages and cultures from all over the world are welcomed for the benefit of all.
What is the Need in Seattle?
Like many urban areas, the Seattle area is home to a diverse array of peoples and cultures. Seattle is home to the most linguistically diverse zip codes in the country (98118 with 59 languages spoken at home), and the neighborhoods and suburbs of Seattle are each home to their own language communities.
This linguistic diversity creates a rich cultural environment in the city, but it also presents challenges. More than 20% of students in the Seattle School District do not speak English at home with their parents, and by 2020 this percentage is estimated to be 25%. Because of the number of languages spoken by these students, it is difficult for schools and districts to develop programs that support a critical mass of students. These language barriers stand in the way of English language acquisition, but also general learning and academic achievement.
On top of that, most of the languages that are spoken by Seattle-area residents are undersupported nation-wide. World languages like French and German are less challenging for schools to adopt because of the availability of trained teachers, teaching resources, and courses at the college level but students who speak Seattle-area languages like Somali, Vietnamese, and Cantonese are difficult to support because those languages lack teachers, textbooks, and robust standards of practice.
One City is committed to bridging those gaps for students in the Seattle area. We seek to support the recruitment and development of teachers and resources to meet the language needs of Seattle’s students, and to enrich the experience of all students and residents of the area with relevant and high-quality language programming.