- World Language Programs
Language Skills & The Essential Standards Framework
The intent of the World Language Essential Standards, along with the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Language (ACTFL)’s Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century, is that a comprehensive set of language skills will be developed and used for effective communication. These skills are known nationally as the 5 C’s or Communication, Culture, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities.
Within the World Language Essential Standards, Communication has been delineated into the three modes of Communication (Interpersonal, Interpretive, Presentational) and, with Culture, comprise the four Essential Standards for World Languages. The other three national standards are encompassed in the strands:
- Connections to Language & Literacy (CLL)
- Connections to Other Disciplines (COD)
- Communities (CMT)
Here is a brief summary of each skill or Essential Standard:
- Use the language to engage in interpersonal communication.
(Interpersonal Communication : Person-to-Person Communication)
Interpersonal skills are used in informal, one-on-one or small group conversations. Students can ask for clarification when needed and negotiate with each other during the conversation. Most interpersonal communication involves everyday topics, like greetings, instructions, directions, current events, class discussions, news about family and friends, social events, requests for information, academic discourse, and so on.
- Understand words and concepts presented in the language.
(Interpretive Communication: Listening and Reading)
Interpretive skills involve receiving information in a situation where meaning cannot be negotiated. Students hear or see the message and respond based on their interpretation. These messages could be about any topic and come from a wide variety of sources and media: textbooks, newspapers, signs, websites, news broadcasts, television and radio programs, lectures, presentations-live and recorded, etc.
- Use the language to present information to an audience.
(Presentational Communication: Speaking and Writing)
Presentational skills involve preparing information to be shared with an audience, either through speaking or writing. Students have time to draft, revise, and practice presentations that show their use of language. These presentations vary from somewhat informal, such as a quick report to the class on an article, to quite formal, which might be a culminating project involving a multimedia display with a speech.
- Compare the students’ culture and the target culture.
Learning about culture means building an understanding of the practices, perspectives and products of a society. The practices involve patterns of social interactions, such as how people are greeted or how respect is shown. Perspectives are the values, beliefs, ideas, and attitudes that are an integral part of life. Products are the books, foods, laws, music, games, etc., that are created and used within the society.
Here is a brief summary of each of the three strands:
Connections to Language & Literacy - CLL (Comparisons)
The world language being studied, referred to as the target language, helps students develop a greater understanding and insight into the nature of language and culture, including their native or first language. These comparisons, along with the three communication modes, blend together to focus students on language and literacy.
Connections to Other Disciplines-COD (Connections)
Studying a world language involves making connections with other academic disciplines, formally and informally. Within the communication skills, the language arts of reading, writing, speaking, and listening are utilized. As students learn about numbers and currency, mathematics and economics are included. All of social studies is part of culture, as are the arts, health, physical education, and science. Career and technical skills in these areas are also drawn on, and technology is woven throughout world languages as a resource for materials and a means of expression and presentation.
Communities - CMT (Communities)
Students preparing for success in the 21st Century need to access knowledge and information from other communities, and use that information to function well with people from diverse backgrounds.
The common Clarifying Objectives are broad enough to allow each World Languages program to address the universal content and skills that are inherent to all language programs, and the sample Assessment Prototypes illustrate ways that these objectives might be assessed in the classroom in ways that are unique to Classical Language, Dual & Heritage Language and Modern Language programs. Specific support materials, tools for implementation, and other information will be provided through the Essential Standards Instructional Toolkit and professional development.