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
(Executive Summary)

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.

A wonderful Standards resource is available online from the Embassy of Spain:  Materiales.  Each issue contains many different activities, using authentic materials and online resources.  Beginning with the November 1998 issue, the National Standards are specifically identified for each lesson.  There are lessons geared to the following levels: elemental, intermedio, y avanzado.

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.

  • The American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP) sponsored a Standards project under the Professional Development Series Handbook for Teachers K-16.  The resultant Volume II is entitled Teaching Spanish with the Five C's: A Blueprint for Success, Gail Guntermann, Editor.  Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt College Publishers, 2000.



    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.

    World Languages Curriculum Framework:  Making Connections

    State framework has 4 strands, subsuming 22 standards.  The strands are:  Communicating, Culture, Connecting, Participating.


    State framework has 5 goals that parallel the National Standards goal areas:  Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities.  These goals subsume 9 standards under the first four goals.

    Each Goal includes one or more Content Standard, as well as Progress Indicators at the Beginning, Developing, and
    Expanding levels. There are also many Classroom Examples to clarify the Progress Indicators, as well as Learning Scenarios.

    New  Jersey

    State framework has 2 content standards:  Communication & Culture.  There are cumulative progress indicators at grades 4, 8, and 12.

    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.


    Elaborate competency-based model w/strands by grade levels:  aligned with National Standards goal areas of Culture, Comparisons, Connections, Communities.

    South Carolina

    State framework has 5 goals and content standards: aligned with National Standards goal areas of Culture, Comparisons, Connections, Communities.

    These standards are assessed at three benchmark stages: beginning, developing, and expanding.

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