Standards for Foreign Language Learning

At the national level:

The National Standards for Foreign Language Learning may be found at the ACTFL site.  This is a good beginning for anyone unfamiliar with the Standards movement in foreign language education.
National Standards for Foreign Language Learning

Once you have learned about the Standards, then you need to begin to address them in your curriculum.  But how?  You will find several suggestions in the following articles:  "Meeting the National Standards: Now What Do I Do?"  or the abridged ERIC Digest version, both by Jean W. LeLoup and Robert Ponterio

Spanish Standards:  AATSP

The Standards for Learning Spanish are now available in the tome Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century, 1999, Allen Press, Inc.  This comprehensive volume includes the original volume, Standards for Foreign Language Learning:  Preparing for the 21st Century, originally published in 1996 by Allen Press, Inc.  In addition to Spanish, the Standards for the following languages are present:  Chinese, Classical Languaages, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Russian.

The Standards for Learning Spanish follow the National Standards in their goal areas (5 Cs) and individual standards.  Sample Progress Indicators are given for Grades 4, 8, 12, and 16 to underscore the desired continuity and sequencing of FL study.  Finally, thirteen learning exemplary scenarios are included in the volume.

At the state level:

The National Council of State Supervisors of Foreign Languages  home page has links to many state departments of education and state foreign language state association home pages.  In addition, several states have links to their particular foreign language standards pages.  This site will be a very useful resource as more states develop their curriculum frameworks for the standards and post them on the web.

Following are brief summaries of work on foreign language standards being done at the state level.  Please visit the individual state standards pages for a more complete description of the state standards for each particular state.


Draft site but very comprehensive with curriculum framework delineated:  5 goal areas and 11 standards, following the National Standards.

Each goal area has links to Performance Standards, Illustrative Learning Activities, and Samples of student work from activities.  The Illustrative Learning Activities also contain some handouts and schema of Prototype Assessments.


Department of Education

Does not have specific FL standards as yet.

New York
Languages Other Than English (LOTE) Curriculum Guide on the web

Foreign, Native American, and American Sign Languages

State framework has 2 standards:  Communication and Culture.


Department of Education

Elaborate model w/strands by grade levels:  aligned with National Standards goal areas of Culture, Comparisons, Connections, Communities.
For the Communications goal area, ODE determined 4 stages of language development, roughly corresponding to the ACTFL/OPI scales:  begins with Novice and ends with Intermediate High (this being realistic for K-12 language development).
Models for FLs not up on web site yet, but hopefully in the near future:

Oklahoma (temporary site, pending approval on 7/27/99)
Also see as of 7/28/99

Foreign, Native American, and American Sign Languages

The content standards for language learning are based on an instructional program in languages other than English for all students beginning in kindergarten and continuing through 12th grade. These standards reflect the latest research in the field of second language instruction as presented in Standards for Foreign Language Learning: Preparing for the 21st Century. As in the national standards, there are five overarching goals in Oklahoma’s curriculum framework: communication, cultures, connections, comparisons, and communities.

This framework defines standards within certain ranges of proficiency: Language Awareness, Novice Range, Intermediate Range, and Preadvanced Range.

Awareness levels:  Grades K-3
Proficiency level of Novice Range:  Grades 4-8 (achieve Novice Range by Grade 8)
Proficiency levels (I-IV):  Grades 9-12 (Preadvanced Range benchmark is reached by students w/K-12 continuous sequence in one FL)

See also
Priority Academic Student Skills


Standards in progress for many subject areas.  Scheduled for World Languages (development and presentation to State Board of Education for review) in September, 2000.  Though not mandatory, most school districts will want to model their curricula on the state standards.

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