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Adopted by the California State Board of Education, May 2001

Published by the California Department of Education �


Sacramento, 2003
Foreign Language Framework

for California Public Schools

Kindergarten Through
Grade Twelve

Developed by the
Curriculum Development and Supplemental
Materials Commission

Adopted by the
California State Board of Education

Published by the
California Department of Education
Publishing Information

When the Foreign Language Framework for California Public Schools,

Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve was adopted by the California State

Board of Education on May 9, 2001, the members of the State Board were

the following: Reed Hastings, President; Susan Hammer, Vice President;

Robert J. Abernethy, Jacqueline C. Boris, Donald G. Fisher, Nancy

Ichinaga, Carlton J. Jenkins, Marion Joseph, Vicki Reynolds, and Suzanne

A. Tacheny.

The framework was developed by the Curriculum Development and

Supplemental Materials Commission. (See pages vi–viii for the names of

the members of the commission and the names of the principal writers and

others who made significant contributions to the framework.)

This publication was edited by Allison Smith, working in cooperation

with Arleen Burns, Consultant, Professional Development and Curriculum

Support Division, and Christopher P. Dowell, Consultant, Curriculum

Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division, California Department

of Education. It was designed and prepared for printing by the staff of

CDEPress, with the cover and interior design created and prepared by Juan

Sanchez. Typesetting was done by Carey Johnson. It was published by the

Department of Education, 1430 N Street, Sacramento, California (mailing

address: P.O. Box 944272, Sacramento, CA 94244-2720). It was distrib­

uted under the provisions of the Library Distribution Act and Government

Code Section 11096.

© 2003 by the California Department of Education

All rights reserved

ISBN 0-8011-1570-1

Copies of this publication are available for $15.50 each, plus shipping and

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iii

Contents

Foreword v

Acknowledgments vi

1
Rationale for Studying Foreign Languages
Academic Achievement 2

Educational Reform 2

Leadership in the Global Economy 3

2
Proficiency Levels 4
Stages of Students’ Progress6

Language Learning Continuum Categories 9

3
Content of the Foreign Language Curriculum
Language Usage 16

15

Language Structure 17

Acquisition of a New Language System 18

Text Analysis and Response 21

Cultural Information 22

Comparisons of Language and Culture 23

Content and Instructional Relationships 24

The Development of Literacy 25

4
Implementation of Curriculum and Instructional Practices 26
The Use of Instructional Goals to Improve Programs 27

Guidelines for Systematic Instruction 27

Provision of Appropriate Resources 30

Library Media Connections to Foreign Language Instruction 30

Multiple Entry Points and Extended Sequence of Study 31

Universal Access to the Foreign Language Curriculum 32

Multiple Languages 34

5
Assessment of Students and Evaluation of Programs 37
Characteristics of Effective Assessment Strategies 38

Purposes of Assessment 38

Forms of Assessment 39

Grade-Level Considerations 42

Portfolios and Assessment 43

Heritage Language Assessments 44

Golden State Examination and Advanced Placement and International

Baccalaureate Examinations 44

Program Evaluation 45

iv

6
Professional Development 46
Long-Term Professional Development and Support 47

Professional Development and Retention of New Teachers 47

School District and Site Programs for Professional Development 48

Considerations in Designing Professional Development Programs 48

Undergraduate Preparation 50

The Individual Professional Development Plan 50

7
TheAdministrators
Role of Parents or Guardians, Administrators, and the Community
53

52

Counselors 53

School Boards 53

Students 53

Parents or Guardians 54

Local Communities 54

Businesses and Industry 55

8
The Criteria for Evaluating Kindergarten-Through-Grade-Eight Foreign Language

Instructional Materials 56

Criteria Category 1: Foreign Language Content/Alignment with Curriculum 57

Criteria Category 2: Program Organization 58

Criteria Category 3: Assessment 59

Criteria Category 4: Universal Access 59

Criteria Category 5: Instructional Planning and Support 60

Selected References 61

List of Figures

1 Language Learning Continuum 10

Foreword

A
s California’s importance in the succeed academically in other subjects.
global economy grows, so does They become aware of the interconnected­
the importance of the state’s stu­ ness of all people and are motivated to
dents becoming proficient in at least one learn more about the history, geography,
language other than English during the art, and music of the people whose lan­
kindergarten-through-grade-twelve educa­ guages they are learning.
tional experience. Acquiring a second Moreover, to learn another language is
language sharpens students’ intellectual to enter a new culture. California students
skills, increases their earning power, and often have a unique opportunity in this
broadens their cultural understanding. regard because this state is home to native
Every student deserves to be able to take speakers of many languages other than
advantage of these opportunities. English. Students studying other lan­
Americans recognize that the ability to guages can capitalize on diversity by inter-
communicate in a second language pro­ acting with native speakers.
vides access to the world’s marketplaces. Clearly, knowing languages in addition
Many career opportunities are available to to English helps prepare students for life
people who communicate well in English and for success in the twenty-first century.
and are proficient in other languages. However, for students to become truly
Because of its position as a world eco­ proficient, fundamental educational
nomic leader and its key location on the changes must be made. To reach that goal,
Pacific Rim, California offers many jobs this framework focuses on developing the
in business and government-related occu­ highest levels of foreign language profi­
pations. Success in these positions is en­ ciency for our students so that they gain
hanced by the ability to bridge language both the power and the pleasure of com­
and cultural barriers. municating effectively in languages other
Students who study additional lan­ than English.
guages also learn skills that help them

JACK O’CONNELL REED HASTINGS

uperintendent of P President, State Board of Education

vi

Acknowledgments

T
he development of the Foreign grade levels, the Commission also realized
Language Framework began in that the framework needs to provide guid­
1997 and required the efforts of ance regardless of whether students begin
many people and the perseverance of con­ their language studies at the elementary,
cerned persons who believe in the impor­ middle, or high school level. To address
tance of foreign language instruction. The this need the Commission adopted the
Curriculum Development and Supple- Language Learning Continuum. A revised
mental Materials Commission (hereafter version of the draft framework was posted
referred to as the Commission) began the on the California Department of Educa­
development of the framework by conven­ tion’s Web site for 30 days before the
ing the Foreign Language Curriculum Commission took action on March 15,
Framework and Criteria Committee 2001. Comments that aided in improving
(hereafter referred to as the Framework the document were sent to the Commis­
Committee). sion for presentation to the State Board of
The Framework Committee developed Education.
a draft document that was distributed for The Board received the draft frame-
field review in September and October work in April 2001 and conducted hear­
1999. The field review draft received ings. Board members provided comments
many positive comments that pertained to to strengthen the document and requested
the framework’s treatment of assessment, affirmation of research-based assertions.
professional development, the needs of The framework was subsequently revised
heritage language learners, and the impor­ and adopted by the State Board of Educa­
tance of learning a language in the appro­ tion on May 9, 2001.
priate cultural context. However, the field Special thanks are extended to Monica
review draft contained standards, and the Lozano, former State Board of Education
State Board of Education adopts standards member, who provided insightful com­
only in those content areas for which the ments to the final draft of the framework.
Board has been provided the statutory The members of the Curriculum Com­
authority. Because no legislation requires mission when the framework was ap­
the adoption of standards in foreign lan­ proved were:
guage, the Commission began revising the Patrice Abarca, Chair, Curriculum Com­
draft document. mission, Los Angeles Unified School
The Commission recognized the need District
to provide flexibility for individual school
Susan Stickel, Vice-Chair, Elk Grove
district programs. Because students may
Unified School District, Sacramento
begin their language study at different
County
Roy Anthony, Grossmont Union High
Note: The titles and organizations of persons listed in
this section were current when this publication was School District, San Diego County
developed.
vii

Catherine Banker, Strategic Technologies The Foreign Language Curriculum


Partnership, Los Angeles County Framework and Criteria Committee,
Rakesh Bhandari, Los Altos, Santa Clara which created the field review draft docu­
County ment, were:
Mary Coronado Calvario, Sacramento Amado Padilla, Chair, Foreign Language
City Unified School District Curriculum Framework and Criteria
Edith Crawford, San Juan Unified School Committee; Stanford University
District, Sacramento County Peter Aguirre, Ventura Unified School
Milissa Glen-Lambert, Los Angeles Uni­ District
fied School District June Ann Campbell, Sequoia Union High
Lora L. Griffin (Retired), Sacramento School District, San Mateo County
City Unified School District Margarita Gonzalez, Los Angeles Unified
Viken Hovsepian, Glendale Unified School District
School District, Los Angeles County Anne Jensen, Palo Alto Unified School
Veronica N. Norris, Education Law District, Santa Clara County
Attorney, Orange County Mary Lou Nava-Hamaker, Capistrano
Janet Philibosian, Los Angeles Unified Unified School District, Orange
School District County
Richard Schwartz, Torrance Unified Suzie Oh, Los Angeles Unified School
School District, Los Angeles County District

Leslie Schwarze, Trustee, Novato Unified Margarita Ravera, Ministry of Education,


School District, Marin County Spain
Karen S. Yamamoto, Washington Unified Patricia Rice, Office of the Kern County
School District, Yolo County Superintendent of Schools
Joy Shiozaki-Kawamoto, ABC Unified
The members of the Curriculum De­ School District, Los Angeles County
velopment and Supplemental Materials
Alan Svidal, San Diego Unified School
Commission’s Foreign Language Subject
District
Matter Committee (SMC) were:
Russell Swanson, Los Angeles Unified
Leslie Schwarze, Chair, Foreign Language
School District
SMC; Trustee, Novato Unified School
District, Marin County Marjorie Tussing, The California State
University, Fullerton
Mary Coronado Calvario, Vice-Chair,
Foreign Language SMC; Sacramento The writer for the committee was Sally
City Unified School District Kiester, Menlo Park, California.
The writer who initially revised the
Rakesh Bhandari, Los Altos, Santa Clara
draft document following the field review
County
was Julian Randolph, Professor Emeritus,
Edith Crawford, San Juan Unified School San Francisco State University. In addi­
District, Sacramento County tion, he provided comments on later
Susan Stickel, Elk Grove Unified School drafts that improved the framework.
District, Sacramento County
viii

Other contributors were: Director, Curriculum Frameworks and


Brandon Zaslow, California Foreign Lan­ Instructional Resources Division
guage Project and Granada Hills High Thomas Adams, Administrator, Curricu­
School, Los Angeles County, provided lum Frameworks Unit
guidance on the intricacies and implica­
Special acknowledgment is given to
tions of the Language Learning Con­
Arleen Burns, Consultant, Curriculum
tinuum.
Leadership Unit, for her efforts in com­
Williamson Evers, Hoover Institution, pleting the framework.
helped to improve the academic sound­
Other Department staff members who
ness of the framework by providing his
helped at various stages of this project
own analysis and by forwarding com­
were:
ments from linguists.
Jacqueline Brownlee, Consultant, Special
Duarte Silva, Executive Director, Califor­
Education Division
nia Foreign Language Project, and Hal
Wingard, Executive Director, Califor­ Nancy Brynelson, Consultant, Curricu­
nia Language Teachers Association, lum Frameworks and Instructional
read and commented on numerous Resources Unit
drafts. Mary Hull, Office Technician, Curricu­
Kathleen Robinson, Past President of the lum Frameworks and Instructional
California Classical Association-South, Resources Unit
reviewed the text on classical languages. Ron Kadish, Director, State Special
Schools and Services Division
The California Department of Educa­
tion staff members who provided the nec­ Christine Rodrigues, Consultant, Cur­
essary administrative support were: riculum Frameworks and Instructional
Resources Unit
Leslie Fausset, Chief Deputy Superinten­
dent, Policy and Programs Nancy Grosz Sager, Consultant, State
Special Schools and Services Division
Joanne Mendoza, Deputy Superinten­
dent, Curriculum and Instructional Lino Vicente, Analyst, Curriculum
Leadership Branch Frameworks and Instructional Re-
sources Unit
The Department staff members over-
Tracie Yee, Analyst, Curriculum Frame-
seeing the completion of the framework
works and Instructional Resources Unit
were:
Sherry Skelly Griffith, Executive Secretary
to the Curriculum Commission and
Chapter
1
Rationale for Studying
Foreign Languages

S
tudying a foreign language completes and improves a student’s
education while providing the foundation for further personal
enrichment, scholastic achievement, and economic opportuni­
ties. The need for California students to learn and understand a foreign
language is more evident today than in times past. In recent years Cali­
fornia has been transforming its education system so that children, the
state’s future leaders, are able to meet the challenges of the twenty-first
century. This framework seeks to improve foreign language education
by relying on the guidelines of the Language Learning Continuum (for
more information, see Chapter 2, Figure 1). It describes what students

1
2

Chapter 1 should know and be able to do as a result Rather than seeing foreign language
Rationale for
Studying Foreign of learning a second language. The con­ studies as simply another area of study,
Languages tinuum sets clearly defined goals while foreign language stakeholders should see
allowing for flexibility in the local cur­ such studies as a vital partner in enhancing
ricula. The need for foreign language in­ students’ achievements in all areas.
struction for all students is clearly evident
in the context of academic achievement, Educational Reform
educational reform, and leadership in the
global economy. Support for studying foreign languages
is to be found in the recent reforms in
California’s education system. In 1995
Academic Achievement California began reforming its school
The ability to communicate in a lan­ system so that students would attain the
guage other than one’s own enables stu­ knowledge and the skills that they will
dents to grow academically and need to succeed in the information-based,
personally. Competence in communicat­ global economy of the twenty-first cen­
The ability to
communicate ing in languages in addition to English tury. The creation of academic content
in a language enriches learning and creates a new foun­ standards in language arts, mathematics,
other than dation for intellectual growth that is science, and history–social science estab­
one’s own
enables
unique to language studies. Students are lished the overall goal of California’s
students to not only mastering another subject but education system—international com­
grow academi­ also creating a new source of academic and parability. In advanced and developing
cally and personal enrichment. The student of mu- countries, students are expected to become
personally.
sic who studies Italian learns the language competent in one foreign language and to
of many nineteenth-century operas; the have studied a third language by the time
student of science who studies German they complete their secondary education.
finds an opening to another community This framework seeks to promote foreign
of scientists; the student of economics language instruction and acquisition and
who studies Chinese comes to understand to assist California in reaching the interna­
the full effects of globalization. In short, tional standard.
learning a language opens new doors and This framework supports another im­
expands a student’s opportunities to learn. portant reform—the extension of ad­
Learning a new linguistic system means vanced placement opportunities. In 1998
acquiring an objective view of one’s native Assembly Bill 2216 (Chapter 793) was
language and, indeed, of one’s own cul­ signed into law by then-Governor Pete
ture. The structural elements of language, Wilson. This legislation seeks to create
the range of ideas expressible in a lan­ more opportunities for students, especially
guage, the intense interdependence of those in economically disadvantaged areas,
language and culture—all these become to take advanced placement courses. The
apparent as the student becomes increas­ advanced placement program, which is
ingly proficient in a new language. With overseen by the College Entrance Exami­
these understandings comes a more so­ nation Board, gives students the chance to
phisticated appreciation of the structures earn college credit in high school. Such
and the patterns of the new language as courses are demanding, but they also cre­
well as a better understanding of the ate an expectation that students will be
learner’s own language. college bound. By relying on the Language
3

Learning Continuum, the Foreign Lan­ The report strongly recommends that one Chapter 1
Rationale for
guage Framework seeks to prepare more strategy for higher education should be to Studying Foreign
students at the elementary, middle, and “internationalize all curricula to provide Languages

high school levels for further foreign lan­ greater understanding of our place in the
guage studies, including advanced place­ global economy, through international
ment courses. studies and stronger requirements for
foreign languages and cultures” (Saenger
Leadership in the Global and others 1988, 30).
In the world marketplace, students
Economy in the United States compete with stu­
Communication
dents from other countries who have been
If California students are to become across distances
required to learn two or three languages and cultures
world-class business leaders, they will
(Pitkoff and Roosen 1994). The need to every day
require an education comparable to their becomes more
be competitive is expressed by the Califor­
overseas peers. European and Asian stu­ essential to
nia Business Roundtable in its report global under-
dents begin their foreign language educa­
Restructuring California Education (1988). standing and
tion in elementary school. Educators and
California competes in the world economy economic
policymakers in their countries recognize prosperity.
with an increasing emphasis on the new
that language instruction begun at an early
markets of the Pacific Rim. If California
age allows students more time to develop
businesses are to reach their global eco­
proficiency. In Germany children begin to
nomic potential, their representatives will
study a foreign language in grade five; in
need to know the culture and the customs
Japan and South Korea, children begin in
of business representatives from other
grade six. Consequently, in international
countries with whom they are negotiating.
business negotiations, most of today’s
California reflects the realities of the
business leaders in California know less
global economy; its schools are the meet­
about the Japanese culture and language
ing grounds for the world’s languages.
than their Japanese counterparts know
More than 300 languages are spoken in
about English and the culture of the
the state’s schools, and virtually all school-
United States (Restructuring California
children meet classmates whose home
Education 1988).
language is different from their own.
Communication across distances and
Their careers, associations, and friendships
cultures every day becomes more essential
will bring young Californians’ into con-
to global understanding and economic Tomorrow
tact with diverse peoples, communities, belongs to
prosperity. Nowhere is this statement
and cultures. As noted by the business those whose
truer than in California, which has a language skills
leaders, tomorrow belongs to those whose
dynamic international economy and a enable them to
language skills enable them to build
multiethnic population. In its report build bridges to
bridges to new peoples and cultures. For­ new peoples
Vision: California 2010, the California
eign language studies create a basis not and cultures.
Economic Development Corporation
only for understanding one’s classmates
notes that the state is the sixth greatest
but also for welcoming the opportunities
economic power in the world and empha­
of the international marketplace.
sizes that education must play the primary
role if California is to sustain this position.
Chapter
2
Proficiency Levels

S
tudents in foreign language courses seek to attain proficiency in
listening to, speaking in, reading in, and writing in another
language or other languages. Teachers seek to impart necessary
knowledge and skills to students who are discovering the joy of learn­
ing another language and culture. If teachers and students are to attain
these goals, the goals of instruction must be clearly defined and explic­
itly stated. For too long, language students in California have been
judged by the number of years they have spent in the classroom rather
than by their actual performance in the target language. If second
language instruction is to be effective, programs offered at different

4
5

levels—elementary, middle, and high learning outcomes at any particular stage” Chapter 2
Proficiency
school and beyond—must be carefully of instruction (Articulation and Achieve­ Levels
articulated. Benchmarks must be clearly ment 1996, 16). A student’s performance
stated for students who begin their study depends on such factors as the:
at specified points in the curriculum and • “age of the learner,
who continue their studies for extended • scheduling patterns of the language
periods of time. Successful instruction is program,
measured not simply by the amount of • methodology employed, For too long,
time spent in the classroom but also by • abilities and interests of the instructor, language
the level of students’ abilities in listening, • scope and sequence of the language students in
speaking, reading, and writing. To that program, California have
been judged by
end the Foreign Language Framework relies • abilities and interests of the learner, the number of
on the model of the Language Learning • availability and use of technology, years they have
Continuum (see p. 10). • physical location and setup of the fa­ spent in the
The writers of this framework gratefully cilities provided for learning, classroom
rather than by
acknowledge the contribution to this pub­ • authenticity of the cultural environ­ their actual
lication of “Framework-Aligned Instruc­ ment and materials, and performance in
tion,” a document produced by Brandon • exposure to native speakers and foreign the target
Zaslow for use at the School of Education, language.
travel” (Articulation and Achievement
University of California, Los Angeles 1996, 18–19).
(2002b). The writers are also deeply in­
These variables play an especially im­
debted to the efforts of the Articulation
portant role in California classrooms. For
and Achievement Project for developing
example, most students do not begin sec­
the Language Learning Continuum. The
ond language instruction until grade nine,
Articulation and Achievement Project was
and they will not progress as quickly on
developed through the collaborative ef­
the Language Learning Continuum as
forts of the College Entrance Examination
they would have if they had enrolled in
Board, the American Council on the
language instruction at an earlier age. At
Teaching of Foreign Languages, and the
the same time, California’s population is
New England Network of Academic Alli­
fast becoming a mirror of the linguistic
ances. The project defined students’ California’s
and cultural diversity of the world outside population is
progress in learning a foreign language by
the United States. California is home to fast becoming a
“using clear, objective criteria, with the mirror of the
many native speakers of languages other
hope of transforming topic- and structure- linguistic and
than English. The rich tapestry of our
based curricula and instruction into a cultural
state’s diversity creates exciting possibili­ diversity of the
coherent and realizable performance-based
ties for enhancing foreign language educa­ world outside
model” (Articulation and Achievement the United
tion. Educators can capitalize on
1996, 16). States.
interaction with these community re-
The Language Learning Continuum
sources, thereby promoting students’ ad­
“describes what students . . . should know
vancement on the Language Learning
and be able to do as a result of ” studying a
Continuum. Examples of such endeavors
second language. Although the continuum
are as follows:
presents a model of stages of progression
in the process of acquiring a second lan­ • Students communicate on a personal
guage, “diverse characteristics of indi­ level with speakers of the language
vidual classroom situations will influence through letters, e-mails, audiotapes,
videotapes, and other electronic media.
6

Chapter 2 • Students interview professionals to “Stage I Proficiency is characterized as


Proficiency
Levels
determine the role that the target lan­ the ability to comprehend and produce
guage plays in the professionals’ suc­ formulaic language (memorized words,
cessfully carrying out their duties. phrases and sentences; in some instances
• Students render service in a commu­ paragraphs). Stage I language users deal
nity organization in which the clientele with discrete elements of daily life in
speak the target language. highly predictable common daily settings.
• Students participate in appropriate When listening or reading, Stage I lan­
career internships in which language guage users comprehend when memorized
use contributes to a successful experi­ content (formulaic language) is well re­
ence. hearsed and when speakers or writers are
• Students interact with peers who are highly sympathetic. When speaking or
native speakers of the target language writing, users functioning within this stage
in the classroom setting. are unintelligible even to highly sympa­
thetic listeners or readers unless the
memorized content (formulaic language)
is well rehearsed” (Zaslow 2002b, 2). Per-
sons functioning within Stage I of the
Language Learning Continuum can com­
prehend a list of goods from a target cul­
ture and purchase desired goods with the
appropriate currency.
Stage II represents “a progression in
terms of gradually increasing vocabulary
acquisition, fluency, aural and reading
comprehension, and sophistication in
written and oral expression. The Stage II
student may be in middle or high school
at the traditional levels 1, 2, or 3, or a
college or university student in a second-
semester course” (A Challenge to Change
1999, 26).
“Stage II Proficiency is characterized as
the ability to comprehend and produce
Stages of Students’ Progress created language (sentences and strings of
This section describes the stages of sentences). Stage II language users deal
students’ progress along the Language with everyday courtesy requirements and
Learning Continuum: topics related to self and the immediate
“Stage I begins when a student starts to environment in some informal and trans­
learn a second language” and “may occur actional settings. When listening or read­
at any age; it may encompass a four- to ing, Stage II language users comprehend
five-year sequence that begins in the el­ sympathetic speakers or writers using cre­
ementary or middle school, a one- to two- ated language. When speaking or writing,
year high school program, or a one- to users functioning within this stage are
two-semester college or university pro- intelligible to sympathetic listeners or
gram” (A Challenge to Change 1999, 22). readers when using created language”
7

(Zaslow 2002b, 3). Persons functioning knowledge of the rules and structure of Chapter 2
Proficiency
within Stage II of the Language Learning the language and . . . [can read] materials Levels
Continuum can understand a job adver­ appropriate to their level of study . . . [but
tisement from the target culture and ex- are] simply unable to put it all together
plain why they should be considered for when asked to speak and write.” Many of
employment. these students subsequently are not en­
“Stage III is a pivotal stage, as students couraged to continue their studies in the
move from the comfort of learned mate- language, even though they were quite
rial to the challenging world” of creating successful at Stages I and II. “The time
with the language. Students begin to adapt needed to successfully complete the out-
vocabulary to personal needs and to pur­ comes specified for Stage III varies consid­
sue their own interests in the language; in erably among individual learners . . . [and]
short, they become independent users of successful completion of Stage III gener­
the language. The students’ repertoire of ally requires more than a traditional third-
vocabulary and grammatical structures year high school course or a third or
increases, but as students attempt more fourth semester of college or university
original and complex tasks and communi­ study” (Articulation and Achievement
cations, their accuracy often decreases (A 1996, 19–20).
Challenge to Change 1999, 30–31). “Within Stage III, learners possess
“Stage III Proficiency is characterized as very different backgrounds and profiles.
the ability to comprehend and produce At the high school level, many have suc­
planned language (paragraphs and strings cessfully completed first- and second-year
of paragraphs). Stage III language users courses . . . while at the college level, stu­
deal with concrete and factual topics of dents enter Stage III by several routes—
public interest (the external environment) most commonly from beginning college
in most informal and some formal set­ or university courses or by having com­
tings. When listening or reading, Stage III pleted three or four years of high school
language users comprehend non-sympa­ study. However, some students enter
thetic speakers or writers using planned Stage III courses with other backgrounds,
language. When speaking or writing, users which may include:
functioning within this stage are intelli­ • an extended sequence of language
gible to non-sympathetic listeners or read­ instruction that began in elementary or
ers when using planned language. . . . middle school,
Individuals functioning within Stage III • immersion or intensive programs in
on the Language Learning Continuum the United States and/or other coun­
can understand the explanation of a work- tries, and
related process provided by a target-cul­ • a home background in the language
ture employer and describe the results chosen for study” (A Challenge to
when the required task is completed” Change 1999, 31).
(Zaslow 2002b, 3).
“Stage IV students tend to be risk-
“It is at Stage III that the relationship
takers, willing to make mistakes and to
of classroom study to genuine language
self-correct. These students explore topics
acquisition becomes problematic. . . .
that are less familiar, experiment with
[M]any students of Stage III (generally
more complex structures associated with
those in the third or fourth year of lan­
advanced functions, and engage in more
guage study) . . . [can demonstrate] their
8

Chapter 2 elaborate, extended, and well-organized within the target-culture framework.


Proficiency
Levels discourse. . . . Students who achieve Stage Stage V language users deal with all topics
IV outcomes are likely to have completed and in all settings pertinent to professional
four to six years of middle and high school needs. When listening or reading, Stage V
foreign language study, or five to eight language users comprehend non-sympa­
semesters of college or university study. thetic speakers or writers using tailored,
Additionally, these students may have extended language. When speaking or
spent significant time in a country where writing, users functioning within this stage
the target language is spoken” (A Chal­ are intelligible to non-sympathetic listeners
lenge to Change 1999, 37). or readers when using tailored, extended
“Stage IV Proficiency is characterized language. . . . Individuals functioning
by the ability to comprehend and produce within Stage V on the Language Learning
extended language (oral and written es­ Continuum can understand the point of
says). Stage IV language users deal with view of a representative of a target-culture
unfamiliar, abstract, practical, social, and government, interpret for dignitaries,” and
professional topics in most formal and conduct business negotiations with repre­
informal settings and problem situations. sentatives of the target culture (Zaslow
When listening and reading, Stage IV 2002b, 3).
language users comprehend non-sympa­ “The Stage V student is likely to be
thetic speakers or writers using formal, highly motivated and interested in pursu­
extended language. When speaking or ing further education and/or career oppor­
writing, users functioning within this stage tunities where knowing a second or third
are intelligible to non-sympathetic listen­ language is a distinct advantage. Although
ers or readers when using formal, extended some high school students with immersion
language. . . . Individuals functioning experience may reach Stage V, the majority
within Stage IV on the Language Learning of Stage V learners are at the college and
Continuum can comprehend a non-tech­ university level. The Stage V outcomes are
nical lecture in a target-culture university included in the Language Learning Con­
setting and discuss the information gained tinuum for the following reasons:
during the presentation to a target-culture • Some students who are already begin­
colleague” (Zaslow 2002b, 3). ning to function at Stage V need a
“Stage V is truly a very specialized stage challenge beyond the Stage IV out-
in language development. Not all students comes.
will aspire to this stage, and it is a rare • Although not all students will be able
occurrence at the secondary level. How- to achieve Stage V outcomes, they still
ever, with sufficient time, opportunity, need opportunities and practice at this
and practice, nonnative speakers should be level so that a strong foundation is
fully capable of realizing Stage V out- provided for those who wish to move
comes. . . . Nevertheless, at the present beyond Stage IV” (A Challenge to
time, it appears that few students . . . actu­ Change 1999, 41, 43).
ally reach this stage” (A Challenge to • “It is likely that, as stronger elementary
Change 1999, 41). and middle school foreign language
“Stage V Proficiency is characterized by programs are developed, the number of
the ability to comprehend and produce Stage V students will increase” (Articu­
most forms and styles of extended lan­ lation and Achievement 1996, 21–22).
guage tailored to various audiences from
9

• “College and university colleagues face-to-face meeting and conversation. Chapter 2


Proficiency
who teach world literature in the Context provides a delivery system, Levels
target language may find Stage V answering the questions: ‘where?’
descriptions useful as a bridge between ‘when?’ and ‘with whom?’
the Language Learning Continuum • Text type: the structure of written or
and the competencies necessary for spoken language as it occurs at various
the advanced study of literature. In stages in students’ language develop­
the interest of a more coherent cur­ ment. In the Language Learning Con­
riculum, dialogues between specialists tinuum, text type refers to the kind of
in language acquisition and specialists sentence structures students normally
in literature should continue. use at a given stage. While exceptions
“Unlike the earlier stages, Stage V has occur, typical students progress from
no ceiling. The learning outcomes pre­ single words and short phrases to sen­
sume a wide focus that is not limited to tences and paragraphs. Naturally, the
literary content. Business and other pro­ age of students and their level of so­
fessional endeavors, study abroad experi­ phistication in the use of their primary
ences, and a variety of graduate courses language is a significant factor in the
may all serve as points of departure for consideration of text type.
achieving Stage V outcomes” (A Challenge • Accuracy: the degree to which student
to Change 1999, 43). performance is structurally and
sociolinguistically correct. Accuracy is
the term that qualifies the linguistic
Language Learning behavior of language learners and
Continuum Categories answers ‘how well?’ Sociolinguistic
factors, vocabulary, syntax, pronun­
Each stage of the Language Learning ciation, and fluency interact closely in
Continuum comprises five categories— the consideration of accuracy, and all
function, context, text type, accuracy, and play an important role.
content. A description of each of these • Content: the subjects about which a
categories is provided below: student at a given stage is able to com­
• “Function: what a student can do municate. Content refers to the rela­
with the language at a given stage. tive complexity of the information
Functions are specific language-based understood or conveyed by learners—
tasks normally performed in the what topics of discussion students are
course of daily life, such as relating an able to understand, and talk and write
event, giving advice, reading for infor­ about. Examples include familiar top­
mation, listening to a news report, ics such as school and family, as well as
and communicating ideas in writing. more advanced topics such as current
• Context: the settings in which stu­ events, history, art, and literature.
dents can reasonably be expected to Content is the substance of communi­
perform the functions described for a cation” (A Challenge to Change 1999,
given stage. Context refers to the set­ 21–22).
tings or situations in which a particu­ Figure 1 describes the expected learning
lar function may take place. For outcomes at each stage in terms of the five
example, greeting and leave-taking continuum categories.
generally occur in the context of a
10

Chapter 2 Figure 1
Proficiency
Levels
LANGUAGE LEARNING CONTINUUM
STAGE I
FUNCTION CONTEXT TEXT TYPE
Students develop the Students can perform Students can:
ability to: these functions: • use short sentences,
• greet and respond to • when speaking, in face- learned words and
greetings; to-face social interac­ phrases, and simple
• introduce and respond tion; questions and com­
to introductions; • when listening, in mands when speaking
• engage in conversa­ social interaction and and writing;
tions; using audio or video • understand some ideas
• express likes and texts; and familiar details
dislikes; • when reading, using presented in clear,
authentic materials, uncomplicated speech
• make requests;
e.g., menus, photos, when listening;
• obtain information; posters, schedules, • understand short texts
• understand some ideas charts, signs and short enhanced by visual
and familiar details; narratives; clues when reading.
• begin to provide • when writing notes,
information. lists, poems, postcards,
and short letters.

ACCURACY
Students:
• communicate effectively with some hesitation and errors, which do not hinder
comprehension;
• demonstrate culturally acceptable behavior for Stage I functions;
• understand most important information.

CONTENT
Stages I and II often include some combination of the following topics:
• the self: family, friends, home, rooms, health, school, schedules, leisure activities,
campus life, likes and dislikes, shopping, clothes, prices, size and quantity, and pets
and animals.
• beyond self: geography, topography, directions, buildings and monuments, weather
and seasons, symbols, cultural and historical figures, places and events, colors,
numbers, days, dates, months, time, food and customs, transportation, travel, and
professions and work.

Source: A Challenge to Change: The Language Learning Continuum. 1999. Edited by Claire W. Jackson.
New York: College Entrance Examination Board, 14–18. Copyright © 1999 by College Entrance Examination Board.
Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. www.collegeboard.com.
11

Figure 1 (Continued) Chapter 2


Proficiency
Levels
LANGUAGE LEARNING CONTINUUM
STAGE II
FUNCTION CONTEXT TEXT TYPE
Students expand their Students can perform Students can:
ability to perform all these functions: • use and understand
the functions developed • when speaking, in face- learned expressions,
in Stage I. They also to-face social interac­ sentences, and strings
develop the ability to:
tion; of sentences, questions,
• make requests; and polite commands
• when listening, in
• express their needs; social interaction and when speaking and
• understand and express using audio or video listening;
important ideas and texts; • create simple para-
some detail; • when reading, using graphs when writing;
• describe and compare; authentic materials, • understand important
• use and understand e.g., short narratives, ideas and some details
expressions indicating advertisements, tickets, in highly contextual­
emotion. brochures, and other ized authentic texts
media; when reading.
• when writing letters
and short guided
compositions.

ACCURACY
Students:
• demonstrate increasing fluency and control of vocabulary;
• show no significant pattern of error when performing Stage I functions;
• communicate effectively with some pattern of error, which may interfere slightly
with full comprehension when performing Stage II functions;
• understand oral and written discourse, with few errors in comprehension when
reading; demonstrate culturally appropriate behavior for Stage II functions.

CONTENT
Stages I and II often include some combination of the following topics:
• the self: family, friends, home, rooms, health, school, schedules, leisure activities,
campus life, likes and dislikes, shopping, clothes, prices, size and quantity, and
pets and animals.
• beyond self: geography, topography, directions, buildings and monuments,
weather and seasons, symbols, cultural and historical figures, places and events,
colors, numbers, days, dates, months, time, food and customs, transportation,
travel, and professions and work.

Source: A Challenge to Change: The Language Learning Continuum. 1999. Edited by Claire W. Jackson.
New York: College Entrance Examination Board, 14–18. Copyright © 1999 by College Entrance Examination Board.
Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. www.collegeboard.com.
12

Chapter 2 Figure 1 (Continued)


Proficiency
Levels
LANGUAGE LEARNING CONTINUUM
STAGE III
FUNCTION CONTEXT TEXT TYPE
Students expand their Students can perform Students can:
ability to perform all these functions: • use strings of related
the functions developed • when speaking, in face- sentences when
in Stages I and II. They to-face social interac­ speaking;
also develop the ability
tion and in simple • understand most
to:
transactions on the spoken language when
• clarify and ask for and phone;
comprehend clarifica­ the message is deliber­
tion; • when listening, in ately and carefully
social interaction and conveyed by a speaker
• express and understand using audio or video accustomed to dealing
opinions; texts; with learners when
• narrate and understand • when reading short listening;
narration in the stories, poems, essays, • create simple para-
present, past, and and articles; graphs when writing;
future;
• when writing journals, • acquire knowledge and
• identify, state, and letters, and essays. new information from
understand feelings and
comprehensive,
emotions.
authentic texts when
reading.
ACCURACY
Students:
• tend to become less accurate as the task or message becomes more complex, and
some patterns of error may interfere with meaning;
• generally choose appropriate vocabulary for familiar topics, but as the complexity
of the message increases, there is evidence of hesitation and groping for words, as
well as patterns of mispronunciation and intonation;
• generally use culturally appropriate behavior in social situations;
• are able to understand and retain most key ideas and some supporting detail when
reading and listening.

CONTENT
Content includes cultural, personal, and social topics such as:
• history, art, literature, music, current affairs, and civilization, with an emphasis
on significant people and events in these fields;
• career choices, the environment, social issues, and political issues.

Source: A Challenge to Change: The Language Learning Continuum. 1999. Edited by Claire W. Jackson.
New York: College Entrance Examination Board, 14–18. Copyright © 1999 by College Entrance Examination Board.
Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. www.collegeboard.com.
13

Figure 1 (Continued) Chapter 2


Proficiency
Levels
LANGUAGE LEARNING CONTINUUM
STAGE IV
FUNCTION CONTEXT TEXT TYPE
Students expand their Students can perform Students can:
ability to perform all these functions: • use simple discourse in
the functions developed • when speaking, in face- a series of coherent
in Stages I, II, and III. to-face social interac­ paragraphs when
They also develop the
tion, in simple transac­ speaking;
ability to:
tions on the phone, • understand most
• give and understand and in group discus­
advice and suggestions; authentic spoken
sions, prepared debates, language when listen­
• initiate, engage in, and and presentations; ing;
close a conversation; • when listening, in • create a series of
• compare and contrast; social interaction and coherent paragraphs
• explain and support an using audio or video when writing;
opinion. texts, including TV
• acquire knowledge and
interviews and news-
new information from
casts;
comprehensive,
• when reading short authentic texts when
literary texts, poems, reading.
and articles;
• when writing journals,
letters, and essays.

ACCURACY
Students:
• can engage in conversations with few significant patterns of error and use a wide
range of appropriate vocabulary;
• demonstrate a heightened awareness of culturally appropriate behavior, although,
as the task or message becomes more complex, they tend to become less accurate;
• are able to understand and report most key ideas and some supporting detail when
reading and listening.

CONTENT
Content embraces:
• concepts of broader cultural significance, including institutions such as the
education system, the government, and political and social issues in the target
culture;
• topics of social and personal interest such as music, literature, the arts, and the
sciences.

Source: A Challenge to Change: The Language Learning Continuum. 1999. Edited by Claire W. Jackson.
New York: College Entrance Examination Board, 14–18. Copyright © 1999 by College Entrance Examination Board.
Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. www.collegeboard.com.
14

Chapter 2 Figure 1 (Continued)


Proficiency
Levels
LANGUAGE LEARNING CONTINUUM
STAGE V
FUNCTION CONTEXT TEXT TYPE
Students expand their • Students can perform • Students can perform
ability to perform all these functions in these functions in
the functions developed almost any context, extended discourse
in Stages I, II, III, and IV. including many when appropriate.
They also develop the
complex situations.
ability to:
• conduct transactions
and negotiations;
• substantiate and
elaborate opinions;
• convince and persuade;
• analyze and critique.

ACCURACY
Students:
• use culturally appropriate language, characterized by a wide range of vocabulary,
with few patterns of error, although speech may contain some hesitation and
normal pauses;
• comprehend significant ideas and most supporting details.

CONTENT
Content embraces:
• concepts of broader cultural significance, including social issues in the target
culture, such as the environment and human rights;
• abstract ideas concerning art, literature, politics, and society.

Source: A Challenge to Change: The Language Learning Continuum. 1999. Edited by Claire W. Jackson.
New York: College Entrance Examination Board, 14–18. Copyright © 1999 by College Entrance Examination Board.
Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. www.collegeboard.com.

The continuum The concepts embodied in the Lan­ students’ learning on the basis of the stu­
provides clear guage Learning Continuum illustrate a dents’ abilities to perform in the target
benchmarks by marked departure from the manner in language in culturally appropriate ways.
which instructors
can monitor
which foreign languages traditionally have Using the Language Learning Continuum
students’ been taught in California. Instead of presents a major challenge to California’s
progress. merely relying on the amount of time language instructors. Moreover, it has
students study the target language, the broad implications for curriculum plan­
continuum provides clear benchmarks by ning, assessment, and professional devel­
which instructors can monitor students’ opment. These areas are discussed in
progress. It assists teachers in measuring subsequent chapters of this document.
Chapter 3
Content of the Foreign
Language Curriculum

A
major goal of foreign language instruction in California is to
increase students’ literacy in languages other than English,
thereby also increasing their literacy in English. The concept
of literacy encompasses the students’ ability to read with understanding,
to write with clarity and accuracy, to understand what is heard, and to
speak comprehensibly with accurate grammar and pronunciation.
Communication is at the heart of second language study, whether
the communication takes place face-to-face, in writing, or across
centuries through the reading of literature. To communicate success-
fully in another language, students develop facility with the language,

15
16

Chapter 3 familiarity with the cultures that use the grammar rules and vocabulary but also
Content of the
Foreign Language language, and an awareness of the ways in such elements as gestures and other forms
Curriculum which language and culture interact in of nonverbal communication. In addition,
society. Students then apply this knowl­ a language system includes discourse,
edge as they express ideas in a foreign whereby speakers learn what to say to
language. Reaching this goal is central to whom and when.
developing literacy in any language. Knowing a language involves being
Learning another language allows stu­ able to carry out a large variety of tasks in
dents to gain a knowledge and an under- the language learned. It involves knowing
standing of the cultures that use that which sounds are used in the language and
language. It can be said that students who which are not, knowing that certain sound
master the cultural contexts in which the sequences make up meaningful words,
language occurs truly master the language. and being able to combine words to form
Moreover, learning languages provides phrases and phrases to form sentences. It
connections to bodies of knowledge un­ means having a command of the linguistic
available to monolingual English speakers. system—the phonology, orthography,
Language students develop a greater in- morphology, syntax, and semantics—of
Learning another
language allows
sight into their own language and culture a language.
students to gain through comparisons and contrasts with The specific elements of the language
a knowledge and the languages they learn. These elements system to be learned in a foreign language
an understanding
of language acquisition enable students to classroom will naturally vary by language.
of the cultures
that use that
participate in multilingual communities For example, some languages will require
language. both at home and around the world in a students to learn entire new alphabets,
variety of contexts and in culturally au­ whereas other languages will present learn­
thentic ways. ers with modifications of a few letters.
Students need to be able to use the Some languages will have vastly different
target language for real communication by sentence structures; others will appear to be
speaking; understanding what others are more familiar. Familiarity with the lan­
saying; reading; and interpreting written guage system alone is not enough to
materials—all in the target language. In enable students to engage in successful
enabling students to progress toward the communicative activities. Learners also
achievement of literacy in a foreign lan­ acquire, through specific and focused in­
guage, teachers provide direct instruction struction, the strategies that assist them in
in each of four modes of expression: lis­ bridging communication gaps that result
tening, speaking, reading, and writing. from differences of language and culture.
Examples of these strategies are circumlo­
Language Usage cution (saying things in different ways),
using context clues, understanding, inter­
Learning a language is a complex pro­ preting, producing gestures effectively, and
cess, whether the language is acquired in asking for and providing clarification.
infancy as a first language or later in life as Teachers assist their students in achiev­
a second or third language. In either case ing literacy in another language by plan­
the learning process consists of acquiring a ning direct instruction that is based on
language system rather than learning a appropriate learning strategies. Such learn­
series of disconnected components. A ing strategies consist of focusing students’
language system consists of not only attention on learning; teaching students
17

how to organize in advance by previewing, sounds that they produce and hear to the Chapter 3
Content of the
skimming, or reading to glean basic infor­ language system being used to convey Foreign Language
mation; aiding students to summarize meaning. For example, some languages, Curriculum

what they have just learned; and teaching such as Chinese, are tonal. In acquiring
students specific questioning strategies to these languages, students learn that the
ask for clarification or explanation. Stu­ same sounds may have different meanings
dents are able to apply these learning strat­ when the sounds are produced in a low,
egies to tasks in other disciplines in medium, or high pitch or in a falling or a
effective ways. In turn, students are able to rising pitch. In some languages written
apply the strategies that work best for meaning is transmitted through picto­
them, long after they leave the classroom, graphs rather than through an alphabet.
for a lifetime of learning. Students then learn a writing system that
is completely different from English.
Language Structure In languages that are not tonal, stu­
dents learn that pitch still plays an impor­
Students acquiring a new language tant role. For example, in English one can
learn how the language works. They learn say, “He bought the book.” One can also
the syntax of the language. Students learn ask, “He bought the book?” Whether the
how words are combined into larger units, sentence is said as a statement or as a
such as sentences, to achieve intended question depends on a rising or a falling
meanings. They learn how to produce intonation at the end of the sentence. In
strings of words that conform to the syn­ addition, students learn stress patterns that Students
tactic rules of the language, or grammati­ are different from those in English. Stress acquiring a new
language learn
cal sentences. Students learn the correct patterns relate to individual syllables in how the
pronunciation of the written language. multisyllabic words and to individual language works.
They learn that punctuation in other lan­ words in complete utterances.
guages can differ from punctuation in Students who are learning a new lan­
English. For example, students learn that guage learn the morphology, or the rules by
in Spanish the question mark not only which words are formed. They learn how
follows a question but also precedes the suffixes and prefixes influence the mean­
question in an inverted form. They learn ing of words. For example, in Turkish, the
the phonology, morphology, and seman­ suffix –ak is added to a verb to make a
tics of the language. In short, students noun: bat means “to sink,” and batak
learn the grammar of the new language means a “sinking place” or “marsh/
while learning how to communicate. swamp.” Some languages, such as Bontoc,
Students learning a new language learn a language spoken in the Philippines, have
the sound patterns, or phonology, of a lan­ infixes. An infix is a component that is
guage and the spellings that represent added to the middle of a word to change
these sounds. For example, in some lan­ its meaning. In other languages inflec­
guages students learn sounds that do not tional endings are used to indicate tense.
exist in English. Students of French learn Students who are learning a new lan­
to produce nasalized vowels in such words guage learn the semantics, or the meaning
as vin (wine), an (year), and brun (brown), of words. For example, they learn hom­
and they learn how these sounds are repre­ onyms—different words that are pro­
sented in writing. In using a language for nounced the same way but that have
communication, speakers relate the different meanings. They also learn
18

Chapter 3 synonyms—words that have the same or Function. Function refers to linguistic
Content of the
Foreign Language nearly the same meaning. And they learn tasks that students perform, such as asking
Curriculum antonyms—words that have opposite for and responding to information, narrat­
meanings. In addition, students learn ing past activities, describing events, ex-
idioms—fixed phrases that have meanings pressing preferences, and persuading.
that cannot be inferred by knowing the Function plays a significant role in deter-
meanings of the individual words or mining appropriate content. Indeed, it is
phrases whose syntax is different from the the foundation on which lessons and units
usual syntax. of instruction are built. The teacher deter-
In addition to learning how words are mines the function or functions to be
formed and how they relate to meaning, learned as a first step in implementing any
students learn how context influences the lesson or unit of instruction. Next, the
way sentences are interpreted. For ex- teacher decides on the topics, or subjects,
ample, in French one can say, “Elle est to be learned and the specific vocabulary
To develop this belle.” This can mean, “She is pretty,” or and language structures that are appropri­
literacy in a it can mean, “It is pretty.” The context in ate for the students’ level of maturity,
foreign language,
students gain
which the sentence is used determines cognition, and language proficiency. By
knowledge about which meaning is appropriate. (In French, using appropriate instructional materials
the new language elle is a feminine pronoun that can refer to and other resources, the teacher provides
system and
an object or to a female person or animal.) direct instruction that gives students the
become able to
use that Since words are limited in their meanings opportunity to practice the specific lan­
knowledge to by context, the range of referents in trans­ guage elements to be learned.
communicate. lating does not always match across lan­ Content. A variety of content topics
guages. may be used as the focus of instruction at
any given level, except when specific vo­
Acquisition of a
cabulary or specific language structures are
beyond the cognitive development of the
New Language System
learners. For example, beginning students
of Spanish can practice reflexive verbs in
The effective use of language can be
such topics as “getting ready for school” or
viewed as combining individual words in
“visiting the doctor.” At the same time,
specific ways to make phrases, combining
the topic of “getting ready for school”
phrases into sentences, and combining
could be the focus of instruction in inter-
sentences into paragraphs. When a person
mediate and advanced classes, in which
implements this process effectively, he or
case the language itself would become
she is thought to be literate in a language.
appropriately more complex.
To develop this literacy in a foreign lan­
Examples of appropriate topics as stu­
guage, students gain knowledge about the
dents progress are geography, cultural and
new language system and become able to
historical figures, careers, places, and
use that knowledge to communicate. Such
events. Topics appropriate for language
knowledge and abilities can be achieved
learning in the school setting are of two
through direct instruction and guided
kinds: social and academic. Social lan­
practice orchestrated by a teacher. In pre­
guage is language that students use to
senting such activities, the teacher consid­
communicate their interests. Academic
ers three essential components: function,
language is more formal and relates to the
topics, and context.
vocabulary and language structures that
19

students need to succeed in their academic different forms, depending on the status Chapter 3
Content of the
studies. As students advance in attaining of the person being addressed. Knowledge Foreign Language
proficiency, it is important that topics of context assists students not only in Curriculum

requiring academic language are increas­ comprehending meaning but also in using
ingly used. Although the focus at the be- language that is culturally appropriate.
ginning level may be placed more on
social language, academic language also Vocabulary and Concept
needs to be introduced. At intermediate Development
and more advanced levels, the focus is Vocabulary and concept development
increasingly placed on academic language is another important component of ac­
and a more sophisticated development of quiring a new language system. For infants
social language. and young children who are learning their
Context. Context comprises the settings first language at home, the development
in which one uses language. Examples of of vocabulary and language structure oc­
contexts are formal or informal settings. curs as an integral part of the development
Whether oral or written, language conveys of concepts. For example, when a young
meaning best when the situation and the child learns to say “Dada work,” he or she
setting in which it is used are known. is associating these words with the concept
Context also helps define and clarify the of parents or guardians being away from
meaning of a language that is new to the home. By the time children attend school,
learner. There are elements of language they have already acquired a rich reservoir
that are appropriate in some contexts but of concepts associated with the home
inappropriate in others. For example, such language. When these children learn an-
languages as French and Spanish have other language, their process entails associ­
more than one form of the pronoun ating the new language with concepts
“you.” In these languages one form is used previously acquired.
to address elders while another is used to The primary use of language is to con­
address children. In Asian languages an vey concepts and meaning; therefore, it is
honorific system designates the use of essential that foreign language teachers
20

Chapter 3 provide direct instruction to ensure that the first category of discourse, interactive
Content of the
Foreign Language students understand the meaning of the comprehension and production, students
Curriculum vocabulary and the structures that they are communicate during many activities with
learning to use. In addition to knowing peers or with adults on topics that relate
the denotation of words and phrases, stu­ to their lives. This communication can be
dents need to understand the meaning of oral, such as in telephone conversations,
idiomatic expressions. Direct instruction or written, such as in correspondence with
on the relationship of root words to word friends through e-mail. These activities
families assists in this endeavor. As stu­ provide for an exchange of ideas. If one
dents become increasingly proficient, they party does not understand the inter-
learn the etymology of key words, espe­ change, it is relatively simple to achieve
cially as this information relates to the understanding by seeking clarification.
English language. In this context the study The interactive comprehension and pro­
of Latin aids students in developing profi­ duction category of discourse is common
ciency in English. in the social use of language.
The second category of discourse is
Modes of Expression receptive comprehension. Reading a book
Four modes of expression—listening, and viewing a documentary, activities that
speaking, reading, and writing—constitute preclude seeking clarification from the
the paths by which information and con­ author or narrator, exemplify this cat­
cepts are transmitted from one person to egory. In such cases the reader or listener
another. Listening and reading are recep­ relies solely on his or her reservoir of con­
tive skills; speaking and writing are pro­ cepts and language decoding skills for
ductive skills. Teachers need to be sure comprehension.
that students understand the new utter­ The third category is comprehensible
ances that they hear before the students production. Examples of activities that
try to produce those utterances compre­ exemplify this category are completing a
hensibly. It is clear that students cannot job application and delivering a speech to
create the language they are learning; they the student body as a part of a school
must first receive input from the teacher, campaign for elective office. During such
recordings, or text material. At each level activities the writer or speaker makes a
of proficiency, students who are literate in presentation that precludes any seeking of
the language being studied are able to clarification of meaning by the reader or
comprehend what they hear and read. listener. Such circumstances place a re­
They are able to express themselves com­ sponsibility on the writer or speaker to use
prehensibly through speaking and writing. language with clarity and accuracy. The
Proficiency in each of these modes rein- comprehensible production category of
forces proficiency in the others. All four discourse is common in the academic use
modes of expression are important ele­ of language.
ments of the foreign language curriculum. Heritage language learners (see p. 35)
In addition, three categories of dis­ may bring strong communication skills in
course describe language use on the basis their home language to the classroom in
of receptive and productive skills; the the interactive comprehension and pro­
categories are interactive comprehension duction category. Nonetheless, these
and production, receptive comprehension, learners still must develop the ability to
and comprehensible production. In using use the language in the second and third
21

language discourse categories—receptive teachers to understand this continuum. By Chapter 3


Content of the
comprehension and comprehensible pro­ being aware of these progressive stages, Foreign Language
duction. Such learners may also need to both students and teachers are able to Curriculum

develop skills in using a more formal regis­ monitor progress in light of expected out-
ter in the classroom than they use at comes at various stages of language learn­
home. Direct instruction by teachers ing. Such awareness also assists instructors
allows these students to improve existing in planning direct instruction that con­
strengths in the language at more sophisti­ tinually moves students forward along the
cated levels and to develop strengths in continuum.
areas for which the home background has
already provided support. In addition, Accuracy
heritage language learners acquire literacy To be considered literate in a foreign
skills that contribute to their overall aca­ language, learners must exhibit a high
demic experience. level of accuracy in that language. Such a
level of literacy includes being able to use
Text Types the new language with increasing gram­
A text type is a language unit with a matical accuracy in ways that are contex­
formal structure, such as a word, a phrase, tually and culturally authentic. Accuracy
a sentence, and a paragraph. Knowledge of pertains to the precision of the message in
To be considered
text types constitutes another important terms of fluency, grammar, vocabulary,
literate in a
element of acquiring a new language sys­ pronunciation, and socioliguistic compe­ foreign language,
tem. The foreign language curriculum’s tence. When language practice is learners must
content enables students to progress sys­ contextualized and reflects real-world use, exhibit a high
level of accuracy
tematically from simple to complex and it forms the foundation for developing in that language.
from brief to extensive expressions of lan­ proficiency. All models of language pre­
guage. sented to students must be grammatically
Specifically, the process of language correct, situationally appropriate, and
development consists of a progression of culturally authentic. Such models include
three stages. At first, students use and not only the language used by the teacher
comprehend unanalyzed language units, but also the language used in text materi­
such as words, phrases, and some sen­ als, periodicals, and audio and video re­
tences—both orally and in writing. Next, cordings presented in the classroom. In
students break apart and analyze language addition, the teacher must provide direct
samples and recombine them to create instruction that focuses on form and
their own sentences. In addition, ideas structure, appropriateness to context, and
may begin to flow across sentences. This cultural authenticity. The teacher continu­
stage occurs both orally and in writing. ously monitors performance in these areas
Finally, students organize created utter­ and provides corrective instruction as
ances into paragraphs, thereby expressing necessary.
more complex meaning. In addition, ideas
may begin to flow across paragraphs. This Text Analysis and Response
stage occurs both orally and in writing.
Language learning proceeds along a Learning to analyze both oral and writ-
continuum on which learners progress at ten texts is an important aspect of becom­
different rates, regardless of course bound­ ing literate in a language. Although this
aries. It is important for students and process occurs automatically for fluent or
22

Chapter 3 native speakers of a language, students of Cultural Information


Content of the
Foreign Language the language rely on the explicit assistance
Curriculum of the instructor. Even during early stages In addition to gaining experience with
of language learning, senders and recipi­ language systems, studying other lan­
ents of messages need to analyze the deno­ guages provides students with knowledge
tations and connotations of words and of the richness of the cultures of the lan­
phrases. The depth and extent of this guages being learned. Connections be-
process increase with advanced language tween language and culture can be
proficiency. understood only by those persons who
Text can be oral or written and can possess knowledge of both. California
include articles, poems, or proverbs. Such students need to develop an awareness of
California texts can be presented through textbooks, other people, the people’s unique ways of
students need
tapes, or videotapes. The teacher helps life, and their contributions to the world.
to develop an
awareness of students to comprehend the main ideas By learning a foreign language, students
other people, the through direct instruction. For example, gain knowledge of social, political, and
people’s unique economic institutions, great figures of
in a chapter dealing with travel, learners
ways of life, and
their contribu­
might listen to a public service announce­ history, literature, and the fine arts. They
tions to the ment that gives advice to travelers, read an also gain knowledge of everyday life in
world. advertisement on taking a cruise, or listen many countries of the world.
to a story about a family vacation. Vo­ The cultural conventions of a country
cabulary and grammar, of course, are ap­ united by the same language are mani­
propriate to the topic. In this way initial fested in two distinct ways: (1) the
authentic contexts contain examples of society’s production of art, music, and
structures and words used naturally. For literature; and (2) the social conventions
example, teaching the chapter on travel of that society’s members. These two as­
outlined above in a Spanish class could pects of culture are appropriate for inclu­
incorporate the future tense, the preposi­ sion in the foreign language curriculum.
tions por and para, and the subjunctive Teachers present a culture’s products as
used with adverbial expressions. information to their students. For ex-
Teachers assist students as they begin to ample, there are many topics that enable
make meaning of the text. Beginning with students to gain information about the
explicit and systematic guidance and in­ culture of the language that they are learn­
struction, teachers give students tasks for ing, such as holidays, institutions, and
demonstrating their understanding of family life. In addition, students may be
main ideas or particular details. Such tasks assigned research projects that provide
consist of selecting the main idea from a cultural information not only from coun­
list of alternatives, creating a different title tries outside the United States but also
for the text, responding to true-false ques­ from the ethnic communities here at
tions, and finding specific pieces of infor­ home. Some students are fortunate
mation. The teacher can lead the class in enough to have direct access to multilin­
discussion for the purpose of relating new gual communities through their home
information to information learned previ­ backgrounds; all students benefit from an
ously as well as for increasing students’ awareness of the many communities in
understanding of the text. California in which English and other
languages, such as Chinese, Russian,
Hmong, Korean, and Spanish, are spoken.
23

The teacher also presents lessons on the how to express particular meanings in a Chapter 3
Content of the
society’s social conventions. The specific foreign language, how to encode them Foreign Language
elements of culture to be learned will vary structurally, and how to be sensitive to Curriculum

by language, and even within languages, as norms of politeness in another culture,


is the case with the many distinct cultures students gain awareness of the nature of
of speakers of Spanish or French. Because language itself. For example, students who
of the strong link between language and assume that all languages are alike may
culture, it is essential that language be soon discover categories that exist in other
modeled by the teacher and expressed by languages (e.g., neuter gender or word
the students in culturally authentic ways. endings) that do not exist in their own.
Examples of demonstrating language accu­ This discovery not only enhances stu­
racy in appropriate contexts are using the dents’ ability to use the target language
formal or informal forms of speech in a but also provides insights into the strate­
Spanish or French class and using appro­ gies that students’ own language uses for
priate gestures, such as bowing, in a communicating meaning.
Japanese class. Because of the complexity of the inter-
action between language and culture,
Comparisons of foreign language study provides compari­
sons between cultures as well as between
Language and Culture languages. The study of a foreign language
and the resulting intercultural exploration
The nature of the language being
expands learners’ views of the world. The
learned and the culture identified with
long-term experience of studying another
that language lend themselves to compari­
language leads students to discover that
son with the English language and Ameri­ By engaging in
other cultures view the world differently.
can culture. The expected outcome of comparisons
When students understand that the target
such comparisons is not only students’ between their
culture assigns new associations to a word, language and the
increased knowledge of grammar and
they begin to realize that language is not language learned,
proficiency in the new language but also students develop
simply a matter of learning different vo­
students’ increased knowledge of and a greater
cabulary words but a matter of acquiring a understanding of
proficiency in English. An objective of the
new set of concepts associated with the their own
foreign language curriculum is to help language.
words.
students develop an awareness of lan­
Students may assume that the culture
guages as systems. Direct instruction
of the language they are learning is the
focusing on the similarities and differen­
same as their own culture. By providing
ces between the language system being
direct instruction in comparing the cul­
learned and the language system of
ture of the language being learned with
English allows students to gain insights
the culture of English speakers, the teacher
about language that contribute to increas­
provides students with the basis for link­
ing literacy in both English and the target
ing language to the appropriate cultural
language. Students benefit from language
setting. It is important for a teacher to
learning by discovering different patterns
point out that the purpose of comparing
among language systems and cultures.
cultures is not to decide which culture is
By engaging in comparisons between
better than the other. Rather, the purpose
their language and the language learned,
is to develop understandings that enable a
students develop a greater understanding
student to develop literacy in a new
of their own language. By struggling with
language as well as in English.
24

Chapter 3
Content of the
Foreign Language
Curriculum

Content and Instructional may watch news programs from other


countries, listen to interviews with foreign
Relationships nationals before or during the translation,
or gain access to vast stores of information
The basic content of foreign language
from around the globe through connec­
instruction is the language itself—its use
tions to the Internet in their homes. The
in culturally appropriate contexts. How-
teacher prepares students to gain access to
ever, for every language there is relevant
a variety of sources in the other language.
Since it expands content that can be used to enhance the
These sources include books, magazines,
access to process of achieving literacy in that lan­
information, dictionaries, and technological resources.
guage. For example, content in a Spanish
foreign language Foreign language studies build on the
learning expands
course may include information on coun­
knowledge that students acquire in other
the educational tries in which the language is spoken, the
subject areas. Students can relate informa­
experience of all geography of those countries, and the
students. tion mastered in other content areas to
historic events leading to Spanish having
their learning in the foreign language. The
become the language of much of Latin
new information and concepts presented
and South America.
in one class become the basis for contin­
Since it expands access to information,
ued learning in the foreign language class-
foreign language learning expands the
room. For example, students in the
educational experience of all students.
elementary grades may be introduced to
This expansion opens doors to learning
science vocabulary related to weather,
that enriches a student’s school experience
seasons, and temperatures. At the same
and life experience. Foreign language
time, the foreign language teacher presents
learning also provides learners with skills
the months of the year, seasons, and
that last beyond the limits of their formal
weather vocabulary in the target language.
education. Language acquisition is, thus, a
A comparison of weather conditions in the
continuous process that contributes to
foreign country with those at home serves
life-long learning. For example, students
to deepen the understanding of previously
25

learned information. Heritage language need to comprehend both spoken and Chapter 3
Content of the
learners bring additional linguistic and written language. They need to participate Foreign Language
cultural experiences to their classrooms; appropriately in face-to-face interactions Curriculum

teachers can build on that knowledge. with members of other societies, and
Such reinforcement also occurs at they also need to understand the concepts
higher levels of instruction. For example, and ideas expressed by members of those
the foreign language teacher makes links societies through their media and their
to a history class by introducing students literature.
to journalistic accounts of historical events When students are able to communi­
or literary depictions of individuals. Hav­ cate in another language, they are able to
ing studied certain artists and scientists, successfully convey and receive many dif­
students read documentation in various ferent types of messages. These students
reference materials. Having discussed can use the language to participate in
works of literature in the English class, everyday social interactions and to estab­
students have a better understanding of lish relationships with others. They can
various genres and literary conventions on converse, argue, criticize, request, con­ An important
encountering similar texts in the language vince, and explain effectively. In so doing goal of foreign
classroom. Foreign language acquisition, they take into account the age and famil­ language study is
then, contributes to the entire educational developing
iarity of the persons with whom they are
literacy in a
experience of students by encouraging the engaged in conversation. They also use the language in
transfer, enrichment, and strengthening of language to obtain information from writ- addition to
concepts acquired in other subject areas. ten texts and media, taking into account English.

the style, context, and purpose of the


The Development communication. Through combining
knowledge of the language system with
of Literacy knowledge of cultural and discourse con­
An important goal of foreign language ventions, California students will develop
study is developing literacy in a language literacy in a foreign language.
in addition to English. Language students
Chapter
4
Implementation of Curriculum
and Instructional Practices

D
istricts aiming to improve foreign language programs
must undertake a systematic review of current programs.
Specifically, districts must review the goals, curricula, and
instructional strategies and practices in place. Working collabora­
tively, curriculum leaders modify goals and expected outcomes for
students as necessary.

26
27

The Use of Instructional presented. Three critical purposes are


Chapter 4
met through assessment: Implementation
Goals to Improve Programs • By using entry-level assessment for of Curriculum
and Instructional
The suggested goals and benchmarks instructional planning, teachers can Practices

found in Chapter 2 and Chapter 3 of this determine the students’ skill levels
document should assist educators in the through the use of indicators of
review process. In implementing this pro­ foreign language proficiency before
cess, educators may find it helpful to take instruction.
the following steps: • By using progress-monitoring
methods, teachers can determine
1. Begin with the end in mind. Effective
whether students are making ad-
curriculum planning begins by look­
equate progress toward acquiring
ing at the program as a whole. Estab­
the skills and the concepts described
lish expected student outcomes at the
in instructional objectives.
main junctures in the program, such
• By using summative assessment,
as at the end of the first year and at
teachers can determine the effective­
the end of the second year. Planners
ness of instruction and students’
should ask a series of questions to
proficiency after instruction.
narrow the focus of the planning,
such as what should students know 7. Select appropriate instructional mate-
and be able to do: rials. The textbook is the core of the
program.
• At the end of the entire language
program? 8. Include supplemental resources, such
• At the end of each course? as age-appropriate fiction and nonfic­
• At the end of each unit? tion literature; newspapers; magazines;
• At the end of each daily lesson? television programs; realia (objects
used to relate classroom teaching to
2. Define appropriate objectives that will
real life); the Internet; videos; and
enable students to learn a new lan­
dictionaries in the foreign language.
guage.
9. Verify articulation. Curriculum lead­
3. Identify expected student outcomes
ers should be aware of the connections
on which to focus the entire program,
between elementary school, middle
units of instruction, and individual
school, and high school language
lessons.
programs. In addition, curriculum
4. Define key benchmarks for expected leaders should foster connections
student outcomes. between teachers at the same site who
5. Decide on instructional strategies. are teaching at the same levels of in­
Effective teachers use a combination struction and should assist foreign
of proven successful teaching practices language teachers in knowing what is
to enable students to communicate in being taught in other content areas.
another language.
6. Decide on methods of assessment (see Guidelines for Systematic
Chapter 5). The teacher needs to
determine to what degree the students Instruction
have learned and can perform the Instruction in foreign language classes
skills or demonstrate the knowledge must be systematic. Systematic instruction
28

Chapter 4 involves a carefully planned program, showing anger, complimenting); and cul­
Implementation
of Curriculum
delivery that implements the objectives to tural conventions (taboo words, euphe­
and Instructional be learned, and selection and placement in misms, culture-specific connotations).
Practices
sequence of the essential skills and strate­ Students learn to comprehend a wide
gies that are necessary to achieving those range of content and functions more
objectives. In implementing systematic quickly than they learn to produce the
instruction, teachers should: same range of language. Therefore, stu­
• Allocate sufficient time to essential dents’ understanding of the language is
skills. always ahead of their ability to produce
• Organize information to minimize the language.
confusion that learners may experi­
ence. Guided Practice
• Introduce new information in man­ During guided practice, students par­
ageable and sequential units. ticipate in listening, speaking, reading,
• Identify prerequisite skills and build and writing activities that the teacher
on the prior knowledge of the learner. closely supervises. The teacher guides the
• Review previously taught skills. practice on the basis of the students’ per­
• Integrate old knowledge strategically formance. The result may prompt the
with new knowledge. teacher to give assistance to those students
• Progress from skills in more easily who are having difficulty, to provide in-
managed contexts to more complex formation and explanation to some or all
contexts. students, to change the activity or pace,
• Include modifications, as necessary, for and to change the focus of communica­
It is important students who have special needs. tion. Exercises and drills are organized
for teachers to around a given situation and are designed
Through systematic instruction teach­
provide foreign to lead to communication tasks as quickly
language ers provide comprehensible input and
as possible.
students with model the target language while using
ample opportu­ appropriate materials. They then lead
nity to practice Interactive Communication
communication.
students in guided practice of the content Activities
and grammar. Teachers monitor students’
It is important for teachers to provide
performances by checking for students’
foreign language students with ample
understanding when they provide com­
opportunity to practice communication.
prehensible input, when they lead stu­
Through such practice students can make
dents in guided practice, and when they
significant progress in dealing with every-
assess students’ responses.
day situations in the target language. The
Comprehensible Input language practiced by students should be
Teachers model language in a way that appropriate to cultural situations. In struc­
is appropriate to a unit by telling stories, turing interactive communication the
by demonstrating activities, and by using teacher supervises small-group activities.
visuals. The students’ role is to listen, to In doing so the teacher must ensure that:
comprehend, and to respond appropri­ • The objectives are precisely stated.
ately. Three major aspects of language • The directions for the learning tasks
comprehension are vocabulary (words, are clear.
phrases, idioms); ways of expressing lan­ • Materials called for are readily acces­
guage functions (requesting, apologizing, sible. Such materials can be tapes,
29

cassettes, films, filmstrips, video com­ should comply with the applicable policies Chapter 4
Implementation
ponents, books, magazines, charts, of their school districts regarding Internet of Curriculum
maps, pictures, realia, and handouts. resources. and Instructional
Practices
By engaging in service learning activi­
The Monitoring of Students’ ties, older students who are proficient in
Performances the target language become mentors to
Students cannot apply, use, or extend younger students who are learning the
skills that they do not possess. Students’ language. During such projects students
performances can be monitored in many enrolled in language immersion programs
ways. For example, while providing com­ often become mentors to elementary
prehensible input, the teacher verifies that school students.
students understand. During guided prac­ Teachers assign homework that allows The foreign
tice the teacher corrects students’ pronun­ students to practice and reinforce skills language teacher
structures
ciation and grammar. During interactive acquired in the foreign language class. extended
communication activities, the teacher Homework can consist of reading (if suffi­ learning
evaluates students’ performances in rela­ cient preparation has been given); writing opportunities
beyond the
tion to established benchmarks and per­ letters; summarizing reading material;
classroom.
formance guidelines. Students are writing a television weather report; listen­
evaluated to determine whether the objec­ ing to extra dialogues, books on tapes,
tives of a lesson have been adequately anecdotes, advertisements, telephone calls,
achieved. The teacher evaluates the extent and instructions; learning and practicing
to which students’ performances achieve newly introduced vocabulary, orally and
clearly stated objectives. An analysis of in writing; learning idioms; performing
students’ performance data, including recorded guided practice tasks; performing
curriculum-embedded test results, aids the grammar, syntax, and sentence structure
teacher in identifying those students who drills; practicing communication with
have achieved mastery and those students peers or native speakers, in person or over
who have not. In this way the teacher is the phone; and listening to foreign lan­
aware of which students require further guage songs and memorizing lyrics.
instruction in the material. If students Teachers assign projects for finding
cannot perform as expected, teachers may information on the Internet, either as a
need to provide additional language in­ part of a lesson or as research at home.
struction and schedule more language Examples of such projects are connecting
practice using different approaches. It is with classrooms around the world in
important that teachers monitor students’ which the target language is spoken; com­
performances on an ongoing basis. paring the use of technology in California
with its use in another country in which
Extended Learning Opportunities the target language is spoken; writing a
The foreign language teacher structures story in the target language; using audiovi­
extended learning opportunities beyond sual technologies to correct or enhance
the classroom. Examples of extended pronunciation of words in the target lan­
learning opportunities are engaging in guage; and conducting research online
service learning activities, completing about the target culture. Teachers arrange
homework, using the Internet, interacting for students to intern for local agencies or
with businesses and the community, and businesses whose clientele speaks the tar-
participating in exchanges. Educators get language, thereby improving students’
30

Chapter 4
language skills. Teachers assign research recordings, producing a video, teleconfer­
Implementation
of Curriculum projects in the communities in which the encing, and holding a multilingual
and Instructional target language is spoken. They arrange videoconference by satellite. Teachers
Practices
exchanges of messages in the target lan­ identify the available technologies, deter-
guage through the Internet. mine the applications they may have, and
Extended learning opportunities also then decide how best to incorporate them
consist of the exchange of students be- into the instructional program. Technolo­
tween countries. Such exchanges provide gies that may be appropriate are com­
students with the opportunity to commu­ puter-assisted instruction, interactive
nicate with native speakers of the language video, CD-ROM, e-mail, and the
and to experience firsthand the culture Internet.
they have studied. Persons interested in Other resources are text materials, both
exchange programs can contact the follow­ basic and supplemental. Supplemental
ing agencies for further information: materials are fiction, nonfiction, poetry,
• Council on Standards for International drama, essays, advertisements, articles,
Educational Travel <http://www. films, and multimedia written originally
The community csiet.org> in a language other than English for native
is an important • Council on International Educational speakers and readers of that language.
resource for Finally, the community is an important
foreign language
Exchange <http://www.
councilexchanges.org> resource for foreign language students:
students.
• NAFSA: Association of International students can interact with native speakers
Educators <http://www.nafsa.org/> and learn about their cultures firsthand
• Institute of International Education without ever leaving California.
<http://www.iie.org>
Library Media
Provision of Appropriate Connections to Foreign
Resources Language Instruction
The most important resource in the Ongoing collaborative efforts between
foreign language class is a competent foreign language teachers and library me­
teacher. Competence is demonstrated dia teachers facilitate the integration of
when teachers possess content knowledge, foreign languages into the curriculum.
a high level of proficiency in the language, Such efforts provide students with oppor­
information about the culture to be tunities to discover quality literature and
learned, and the skills necessary to deliver other resources in the language learned.
effective instruction. To hone these skills, The specialized training of library me­
teachers must have access to ongoing pro­ dia teachers in selecting quality books and
fessional development. other library resources is critical to devel­
Technology enhances language learning oping the library collection. School library
and aids students in strengthening linguis­ collections provide students with access to
tic skills, establishing relations with peers, foreign language dictionaries and reference
and learning about contemporary culture books that contain information about
and everyday life in countries in which the various cultures. Examples of other mate-
target language is spoken. Examples of the rials found in the library media center are
use of technology are showing diagrams audio resources (music, folksongs, and
on an overhead projector, playing audio stories narrated in the various languages);
31

Chapter 4
Implementation
of Curriculum
and Instructional
Practices

videos; realia from various cultures for Multiple Entry Points


display and study; and magazines and
newspapers in the target language. and Extended Sequence
Partnerships between foreign language of Study
teachers and library media teachers also
foster the integration of the instruction Foreign language programs in Califor­
and the practice of information literacy nia begin at various grade levels, devote
skills with content-rich research projects, various amounts of time to instruction,
thereby enabling students to become effec­ and extend for various lengths of time.
tive users of information. Research For example, many districts introduce
projects are an effective means of provid­ foreign language learning in middle
ing this instruction and practice. In addi­ school and continue instruction into high
tion, using a school library media center school. Elsewhere, programs may begin in
to display students’ projects created in elementary school. Some districts offer
foreign language classes serves to promote dual-immersion programs beginning at
foreign language programs and to stir the kindergarten level as permitted by law.
interest in these courses. One example of a In these programs, English- and non-
possible research project involves students English-speaking students are taught both
in a French class who plan an imaginary in English and in the second language.
trip to Paris. Each student researches in- Individual school programs will use the
formation about a particular part of the framework to fit local circumstances.
city to present to the class. Students find The Education Code stipulates that
historical facts, descriptions of important foreign languages be offered no later than
sites, and information on costs. The class grade seven: “The adopted course of study
produces a videotape, narrated in French, for grades 7 to 12, inclusive, shall offer
as a travel guide to Paris. courses in the following areas of study. . . .
In short, foreign language teachers and Foreign language or languages, beginning
library media teachers should use their not later than grade 7, designed to develop
shared talents to foster students’ learning, a facility for understanding, speaking,
improve academic achievement, and create reading, and writing the particular lan­
new possibilities of personal enrichment. guage” (sections 51220 and 51220c).
32

Chapter 4 Nevertheless, most California students students’ achievement accurately at the


Implementation
of Curriculum begin foreign language study in high entry level. By using the results of the
and Instructional school. A smaller number of students be- assessment, teachers can ensure that:
Practices
gin in grades five through eight, and the 1. All students and classes receive in­
fewest number of students begin in the struction in a rigorous foreign lan­
primary grades. Students study English– guage curriculum that enables them to
language arts, mathematics, science, social progress most efficiently along the
studies, and the arts throughout their Language Learning Continuum.
school careers; they need to have the same
2. Effective grouping strategies meet the
sustained opportunity for attaining foreign
instructional needs of all students.
language proficiency through an extended
sequence of study. 3. Other instructional strategies are
implemented and specialized support
and assistance are provided to meet
Universal Access to the needs of special education stu­
the Foreign Language dents, advanced learners, and English
learners.
Curriculum
The diversity of California students Instruction of Special Education
presents unique opportunities and signifi­ Students
cant challenges for instruction. Students Special education students have specific
come to school with a variety of skills, needs that are outlined in an individual­
abilities, and interests as well as varying ized education program (IEP). Teachers
proficiencies in English and other lan­ should review each special education
guages. The wider the variation of the student’s IEP to become aware of the
The diversity of student population in each classroom, the support services that are necessary to en­
California more complex the teacher’s role becomes suring the student’s access to the instruc­
students presents in organizing high-quality curricula and tional program, including any assistive
unique opportu­
nities and
instruction in foreign languages and in technology that may be specified.
significant ensuring that each student has access to Specific learning disabilities that mani­
challenges for instruction on the basis of the student’s fest as deficits in students’ use of their
instruction. primary language may also create difficul­
current stage on the Language Learning
Continuum. Through implementing the ties in students’ learning a second lan­
Language Learning Continuum in foreign guage. Some students who have learning
language classrooms, California is creating disabilities may have difficulty in process­
programs that will allow all students to ing oral or written language. For these
progress in their study of languages as far students a thorough review of the process­
as they desire. Achieving this goal requires ing difficulty will typically have been per-
high-quality curricula and instruction. formed by the IEP team and the results
This framework emphasizes systematic and recommendations will be reflected in
and explicit instruction, frequent progress- their IEPs. With the assistance of learning
monitoring assessment, and appropriate specialists, foreign language teachers can
modification of the curriculum for all implement specific strategies for special
students of foreign language. Within this education students that might consist of
context, universal access demands that changes in the sequence of instruction, the
teachers receive assistance in assessing methods of instruction, the pacing of
33

instruction, or the instructional materials • Enlist the help of parents or guardians Chapter 4
Implementation
used. The strategies might also encompass whenever possible. of Curriculum
variations in assessment techniques (e.g., • Establish special sessions to prepare and Instructional
Practices
providing additional time to take tests). students for unfamiliar testing situa­
Regardless of the modifications made, tions.
however, educators should always place • Ask each student frequently to com­
their attention on helping special educa­ municate his or her understanding of
tion students progress along the Language the concept or assignment. Students
Learning Continuum as far as possible. should be asked to verbalize (orally or
Specific strategies to meet the needs of in writing) what they know, thereby
special education students should be em- providing immediate insight into their
bedded in instructional materials to help thinking and level of understanding.
ensure that instruction is most effectively In addition, students should be en­
delivered. To establish successful instruc­ couraged to confer among themselves,
tional programs not only for special edu­ comparing their understandings of
cation students but also for the whole of concepts being learned, class work, and
the student population, teachers should: homework assignments.
• Establish a safe and supportive envi­ • Check frequently for understanding in
ronment in which the students are a variety of ways. When a student does
encouraged to talk and ask questions not understand, analyze why.
freely when they do not understand. • Allow students to demonstrate their
• Use a variety of ways to explain a con­ understanding and abilities in a variety
cept or an assignment. When appro­ of ways while reinforcing modes of
priate, the concept or the assignment communication.
may be depicted in a graphic or a pic­ • Vary strategies to ensure that curricu­
torial form, with manipulatives, or lum and instruction are appropriately
with real objects to accompany oral challenging. Pacing, an approach
and written instructions. through which the teacher slows down
• Provide assistance with specific and or speeds up instruction, can be a
general vocabulary before each lesson simple and effective strategy.
begins and after the lesson ends, then • Focus on the key concepts and elimi­
provide for reinforcement and addi­ nate confusing activities or variables.
tional practice time. Lessons should be organized and se­
• Monitor resources and instruction for quential to ensure that instructional
ambiguities or confusing language, time is used to help students under-
such as idioms. stand the fundamental concepts and
• Provide tutoring situations that offer develop needed skills.
additional assistance. Tutoring by a Educators may visit the following Web
properly credentialed teacher is opti­ site to obtain information about under-
mal. Peer or cross-age tutoring should standing and assisting students who have
be designed so as not to detract from special needs: California Special Educa­
the instructional time of either the tion Programs: A Composite of Laws Da­
tutor or the student being tutored and tabase, <http://www.cde.ca.gov/spbranch/
should be supervised by a properly sed/lawsreg2.htm>.
credentialed teacher.
34

Chapter 4
Instruction of Advanced Learners pected at that level of language develop­
Implementation
of Curriculum At any given stage of the Language ment. For example, advanced learners may
and Instructional
Learning Continuum, students will dis­ become more involved in the culture and
Practices
play a range of performance. Advanced the novelties of the language being studied
learners are students who perform or are by reading appropriate literature or other
capable of performing in a foreign lan­ resources that teachers may select and by
guage at levels that are significantly above attending plays and concerts that highlight
the performance levels of their peers at the the culture of the target language.
same stage of the Language Learning Con­
Instruction of English Learners
tinuum. Advanced learners may be stu­
dents who have been formally identified English learners benefit from foreign
by a school district as gifted and talented language instruction. They should have
as defined in the Education Code (begin­ the opportunity to study their heritage
ning with Section 52200). They may also language in a formal, academic setting or
be students who have not been formally to learn a third or fourth language in addi­
identified as gifted and talented but who tion to English.
demonstrate outstanding capacity or per­ Given students’ differing academic
Local educational
formance in a foreign language. Progress­ backgrounds and the possible similarities
agencies should
ing rapidly along the Language Learning or differences between the heritage lan­
offer to their
students as many Continuum, studying topics in more guage and the foreign language, some
foreign language
depth, and studying related topics that are students will progress quickly along the
options as
not covered in the regular curriculum Language Learning Continuum. Other
possible.
increase advanced learners’ academic students may require additional language
achievements in foreign languages. support. Teachers should be aware of
Advanced students often benefit from a students’ knowledge of English and stu­
variety of teaching strategies that make dents’ transfer of language skills, such as
curriculum and instruction appropriately reading, from one language to another.
challenging. The strategies for modifica­ Instructional programs should be planned
tion of curriculum and instruction for on the basis of the students’ proficiency in
advanced learners may consist of pacing, English, in the heritage language, and in
depth, complexity, and novelty. The pace the foreign language.
of instruction for an advanced learner can English learners enrolled in heritage
be accelerated if assessment indicates the language programs have usually attained a
student has mastered significant portions high level of listening and speaking skills,
of the foreign language curriculum being but they often need to improve their skills
studied at his or her stage on the Language in reading and writing. Instruction may
Learning Continuum. Modifying the need to focus on academic vocabulary,
complexity of instruction requires more linguistic structures, and language conven­
training and skill on the part of the tions.
teacher in designing activities as well as
the availability of instructional materials. Multiple Languages
For advanced learners such modification
Local educational agencies should offer
means enriched instruction that encour­
to their students as many foreign language
ages students to go into more depth by
options as possible. The wider the choices,
addressing topics, time periods, or connec­
the more likely that California will pro-
tions across disciplines not normally ex­
35

Chapter 4
duce high school graduates who have principles of word building and by study­
Implementation
progressed to the higher stages of the Lan­ ing the derivation of words and common of Curriculum
guage Learning Continuum in second and prefixes and suffixes. In addition, many and Instructional
Practices
even third languages. These students will students who study a classical language
also have knowledge of more than one often become proficient in one of the
culture. modern languages. Spanish-speaking or
French-speaking students can learn the
Classical Languages linguistic heritage of their native language.
Learning classical languages is a valu­ Exploring the interrelationships of the
able experience for California students of languages also strengthens proficiency.
all ages and backgrounds. The works of Students of classical languages develop a
Greek and Roman philosophers, poets, powerful array of communicative compe­
historians, and playwrights help students tencies and gain much broader access to
understand the intellectual and literary information and ideas.
roots of American government and soci­
ety. Classes in Latin are a vital component Heritage Languages
of many foreign language programs in In many schools the presence of large
California. groups of students with home back-
Learning classical languages involves grounds in such languages as Spanish,
the same skills as learning modern lan­ Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean has
guages, but the prioritizing of classical led to the establishment of special courses
language skills differs markedly. Reading designed to develop and maintain the
becomes the primary objective and is sup- language abilities of these students. In­
ported by limited skills in listening, speak­ struction in heritage languages is also
ing, and writing. Grammar is taught supported by local community efforts,
formally, and the structure of the target such as Saturday programs and after-
language is emphasized and compared school programs that offer courses in
with English. Emphasis is placed on read­ Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, and Hebrew.
ing comprehension and interpretive skills Language courses that help to
and less on interpersonal communication. strengthen the heritage of persons and
Therefore, the important goals of classical community members living in California
language study are the development of merit consideration as a part of the
reading skills in the target language, the foreign language curriculum. Although
close study of works of ancient literature, it is crucial for students who speak a heri­
and the creation of a deep understanding tage language to develop proficiency in
of the target culture. English, it is also beneficial for them to
When students read Latin literature, continue developing skills in the heritage
they are communicating with the ancient language and even in a third language.
world in the most direct way possible. Students who do have well-developed
Latin provides a useful base for learning oral language skills but underdeveloped
how many European languages work. literacy skills in a heritage language do not
Approximately 70 percent of the vocabu­ benefit greatly from an introductory
lary of formal English and 90 percent of course in that language. Rather, these
the vocabulary of Spanish are based on students would profit more from heritage-
Latin. Students increase their vocabulary language development courses for a variety
in a systematic manner by learning the of reasons. First, such courses help these
36

Chapter 4 students make the transition from a collo­ The Education Code (Section 51225.3)
Implementation
of Curriculum
quial to a more formal command of the stipulates that taking ASL courses counts
and Instructional heritage language. Second, the courses toward graduation requirements:
Practices
help raise students’ self-esteem not only (a) Commencing with the 1988-89 school
when students increase competency in the year, no pupil shall receive a diploma of
language spoken in family settings but also graduation from high school who, while
when they realize that such competency is in grades 9 to 12, inclusive, has not
completed all of the following:
valued by respected educational institu­
(1) At least the following numbers of courses
tions. Finally, the courses provide the op­
in the subjects specified, each course
portunity for heritage language speakers to having a duration of one year, unless
help other foreign language students im­ otherwise specified. . . .
prove their speaking and listening skills. (E) One course in visual or performing arts
or foreign language. For the purposes of
American Sign Language satisfying the requirement specified in
American Sign Language (ASL) is rec­ this subparagraph, a course in American
ognized as a distinct language and a for­ Sign Language shall be deemed a course
in foreign language.
eign language within the context of this
framework. It is a rule-governed language American Sign Language also meets the
that has the system and the scope of any foreign language entrance requirement of
oral language; it has its own complex mor­ The California State University and the
phology, syntax, and structure of dis­ University of California systems (Futures:
course. Making High School Count! 2002).
American Sign Language courses are
Less Commonly Taught Languages
open to all students regardless of hearing
status. As competency in ASL becomes Many people throughout the world
greater in the general population, deaf or speak such languages as Chinese, Japanese,
hard of hearing students become less iso­ Korean, and Russian. These languages are
lated from the social and economic main- spoken in countries that are of strategic
stream, their confidence and self-esteem importance to the United States and that
grow, and the full range of their communi­ have economic ties to California. They are
cation needs can be better considered (see being taught more frequently in California
Education Code Section 56341.1[b][4]). today than in the past. However, progress­
Students who are not deaf or hard of hear­ ing along the Language Learning Con­
ing also gain a valuable skill with career tinuum in these languages can take longer
potential (e.g., sign language interpreting) than making progress in other languages
and learn general lessons about the nature because, in significant part, English speak­
of language as a communication tool. ers find it especially challenging to learn a
The major objectives of instruction in language with a writing system that is
ASL resemble those of any language: to completely different from that of English.
enable students to communicate well in Therefore, students may need extended
the target language and to become aware study in the less commonly taught lan­
of its history and cultural implications. guages.
Chapter 5
Assessment of Students
and Evaluation of Programs

T
he successful implementation of instruction can be measured
by the assessment of students’ progress and the evaluation of
program effectiveness. It is important that assessment efforts
reflect coherence between the teacher’s, the school’s, and the school
district’s instructional goals.

37
38

Chapter 5
Characteristics of Effective foreign language as a basis for placing
Assessment of
Students and students at appropriate levels of instruc­
Evaluation of Assessment Strategies tion in an established foreign language
Programs
program. In a well-articulated program in
The major goal of foreign language
which students move sequentially through
instruction is to enable students to de­
foreign language instruction from elemen­
velop proficiency in a language other than
tary school to high school, entry-level
English. Measuring students’ progress
assessment is used to determine how best
through the stages of the Language Learn­
to place students. Students who transfer
ing Continuum (see Chapter 2) is essen­
into such a program and who have test
tial. Effective assessment strategies:
scores, portfolios of written work, and oral
• Have a clear purpose that is readily assessment results provide teachers with
communicated to teachers, students, documentation showing the levels of com­
administrators, and parents or guard­ petency that the students have attained in
ians. the target language.
• Provide information to guide the Difficulties arise in placing students
teacher in planning instruction. who have moved into a system from out-
• Measure how well students perform side the school district or who speak a
in listening, speaking, reading, and language other than English at home. In
writing. these cases teachers can use informal inter-
• Have clear and concise criteria. views with students to assess their oral
• Include instruments that provide rep­ work and a writing sample to assess their
resentative samples of what students general literacy skills. With this informa­
know and are able to do. tion the teacher, the counselor, and the
• Integrate listening, speaking, reading, parents or the guardians can decide to­
and writing skills. gether the most appropriate placement
• Include a wide range of strategies that level. When a school district has a large
allow for a variety of responses. population of heritage language students,
• Provide students and parents or guard­ it may establish a standard set of open-
ians with ongoing information on the ended questions to assess students’ compe­
students’ progress. tency.
• Allow students to monitor and adjust
their individual learning. Progress-Monitoring Assessments
• Employ the various forms of assess­ Progress-monitoring assessments gather
ment described later in this chapter. evidence about students’ progress toward
achieving objectives as measured in rela­
Purposes of Assessment tion to the stages of the Language Learn­
ing Continuum (see Chapter 2). These
Assessment of students’ learning at ongoing assessments may occur at any
different levels provides information that point during an instructional sequence
teachers can use to design lessons and except at the end of the course of study. In
develop appropriate curricula. addition to giving important information
Entry-Level Assessments about students’ progress, these assessments
help teachers make periodic adjustments
Entry-level assessments analyze stu­
in instruction and program planning.
dents’ abilities to communicate in a
39

Summative Assessments tency Assessment (CWCA); the Classroom Chapter 5


Assessment of
Summative assessments evaluate stu­ Receptive Competency Matrix (CRCM); Students and
dents’ achievements at the end of a unit, a the Stanford Foreign Language Oral Skills Evaluation of
Programs
chapter, or a course of study. These assess­ Evaluation Matrix (FLOSEM); and
ments may be made at the end of a school Articulation and Achievement Project
year or a semester and are usually compre­ assessments.
hensive in nature. In addition to being
The Classroom Oral Competency
developed by teachers and publishers,
Interview
summative assessment instruments are also
developed by local, national, or interna­ The Classroom Oral Competency Inter-
tional language associations and by lan­ view was developed by the California For­
guage researchers. Such assessments are eign Language Project (CFLP). (More
the Golden State Examination and the information is available on the CFLP Web
Advanced Placement and International site <http://csmp.ucop.edu/cflp/>.) It “is an
Baccalaureate examinations. interactive, holistic assessment of oral
performance conducted in a natural con­
versation-like exchange between an inter-
Forms of Assessment viewer . . . and a second-language learner.
The forms of assessment most likely to It takes into consideration the context of
be used are achievement tests and perfor­ the communicative foreign language class-
mance-based assessments. Achievement room at the secondary level where teachers
tests are the most familiar type of assess­ need a process for evaluating oral language
ment that classroom teachers administer. in a manner that is administered, scored,
These tests use specific materials to assess and interpreted rapidly and easily. The
what students have learned by measuring COCI targets a relatively restricted scope
students’ mastery of specific vocabulary, of language performance, and divides this
structures, and content. Students are able language use into three major ranges:
to study for achievement tests, and test formulaic, created, and planned language”
results can be used to compare students’ (Classroom Oral Competency Interview
performances on norm- or criterion-refer­ 1993, 8).
enced tests. Within the first range, formulaic lan­
Performance-based assessments mea­ guage, student performance is limited to
sure what students know and how they the “comprehension and production of
apply their knowledge when communicat­ unanalyzed chunks of language or memo­
ing in various situations and with different rized formulas.” Within the second range,
people. Completing performance-based created language, student performance
tasks may require more sophisticated com­ involves “rearranging and recombining”
munication skills than taking an achieve­ language components to “create utter­
ment test. These assessments are often ances” and statements in sentences that
used at the end of a period of instruction. express personal meaning. Within the
Some examples of performance-based third range, planned language, students
assessments that are compatible with the demonstrate their ability to “coordinate
Language Learning Continuum are the created utterances” and statements beyond
Classroom Oral Competency Interview sentences into paragraphs (COCI 1993,
(COCI); the Classroom Writing Compe­ 5–6).
40

Chapter 5 Within those three major ranges, the ing a given prompt. Prompts must be
Assessment of
Students and COCI focuses on a student’s ability to use created on the basis of context, text type,
Evaluation of the language, and it characterizes language function, and content. “Prompts should
Programs
use in three subcategories for each of the be designed so that the writer receives a
ranges: low, mid, and high. The assess­ clear understanding of the context for
ment takes approximately five minutes to writing” (e.g., an exchange student com­
seven minutes to administer, and it takes ing to the United States has sent a letter
the student from a “warm-up” to a dia­ containing a request for information
logue that is intended to establish a range about what to expect on arrival); the text
and is aided by probing questions to a type to be produced (e.g., a letter); the
“wind-down” (COCI 1993, 8–9). function (e.g., providing information to
complete a task); and the content area to
The Classroom Writing Competency be explored (e.g., family life) (CWCA
Assessment 1996, 39).
The Classroom Writing Competency The creators of the COCI and the
Assessment was developed by the California CWCA recommend that these assessments
Foreign Language Project to “offer teach­ be administered after the student com­
ers an integrated process for creating and pletes two years of language study at the
assessing writing tasks.” This process pro­ secondary level. Because ratings on oral
vides teachers with indicators for measur­ assessment instruments are more reliable
ing the competency of students’ writing. when the assessment is administered by
The test also “provides learners with nu­ someone other than the students’ teacher,
merous opportunities to develop their it is advisable that schools and teachers
writing as they integrate, apply and extend collaborate to create a schoolwide or
their language in response to the demands districtwide oral proficiency assessment
of various tasks” (CWCA 1996, 5–6). project (Huebner and Jensen 1992). The
The Classroom Writing Competency California Foreign Language Project offers
Assessment divides language use into the training in the COCI and the CWCA to
three major ranges described above: for­ all foreign language teachers in California
mulaic, created, and planned language. through its regional professional develop-
Students produce a writing sample follow- ment programs.
41

The Classroom Receptive • Learners functioning within Stage II Chapter 5


Assessment of
Competency Matrix of the Language Learning Continuum Students and

To develop the ability to produce a “can understand the overall meaning, Evaluation of
Programs
language, students must internalize the key ideas, and some supporting details
language. The Classroom Receptive Compe­ (sentence-level relationships) in texts
tency Matrix was designed by the Califor­ related to self and the immediate
nia Foreign Language Project to validate a environment within some informal
student’s growth in receptive competency. and transactional settings.”
The matrix complements the COCI and • Learners functioning within Stage III
the CWCA “by using similarly constructed of the Language Learning Continuum
prompts and rating criteria.” It measures “can understand the main ideas and
receptive competency according to the most supporting details (paragraph-
following ranges: the formulaic range, or level relationships) in texts on concrete
“the ability to understand learned formu­ and factual topics of public interest
las”; the created range, or “the ability to within most informal and some formal
understand sentence-level relationships”; settings related to the external environ­
the planned range, or “the ability to un­ ment.”
derstand paragraph-level relationships”; • Learners functioning within Stage IV
and the extended range, or “the ability to of the Language Learning Continuum
understand relationships in language be­ “can understand the ideas and most
yond the paragraph” (Zaslow 2002a, 1–2). supporting details (relationships in
“Listening and reading prompts from language beyond the paragraph) in
the CRCM may be administered fre­ texts on unfamiliar, abstract, practical,
quently and be included in individual social and professional topics within
portfolios or be used for program evalua­ most formal and informal settings and
tion. . . . Three elements must be consid­ problem situations.”
ered in constructing prompts to develop Teachers learn to create CRCM
and assess receptive competency: (1) the prompts and to administer a sufficient
oral or written text to be understood; number of them to identify a student’s
(2) the tasks to be carried out on the text; stage of performance along the Language
and (3) the context in which this is to Learning Continuum.
occur” (Zaslow 2002a, 1–2).
The CRCM assesses the development of The Foreign Language Oral Skills
listening and reading proficiencies that are Evaluation Matrix
necessary to attaining the outcomes de- The Stanford Foreign Language Oral
scribed in the Language Learning Con­ Skills Evaluation Matrix was developed by
tinuum, as can be seen by the following the School of Education at Stanford Uni­
descriptions contained in the document versity. It is designed to provide a global
(Zaslow 2002a, 5): rating of the foreign language learner’s
• Learners functioning within Stage I of ability “to comprehend, to speak, and to
the Language Learning Continuum be understood by others” (Padilla, Sung,
“can identify memorized words, and Aninao 1994, 1). This matrix is simi­
phrases, sentences (formulas) in unfa­ lar to the Student Oral Language Observa­
miliar texts within highly predictable tion Matrix (SOLOM) because it makes it
common daily settings.” possible to assign a global rating in the
42

Chapter 5 areas of comprehension, fluency, vocabu­ oral and written assessments, sample port-
Assessment of
Students and lary, pronunciation, and grammar. (How- folio templates, and rubrics for holistically
Evaluation of ever, SOLOM has been used largely with scoring students’ work.
Programs
English learners.)
Each category of FLOSEM contains six Example of a written assessment
possible levels at which students can be for Stage II French:
rated, ranging from “extremely limited Student # _______ STAGE II French
ability” (Level 1) through “native-like Directions: Before beginning to write,
ability” (Level 6). A description of the think about what you want to say in order
general criteria for assessing students’ to write a well-organized letter. Leave time
abilities at each level is available in the at the end to look over your work and to
FLOSEM assessment package. make corrections if necessary. You will have
30 minutes to complete this assignment.
The matrix can be administered at any
level, kindergarten through grade twelve. Write a short letter to your pen pal
It may be used as both a pretest and a in Québec or another French-speaking
post-test. However, because mastering part of Canada. Tell him or her that
foreign language oral skills takes time and your close friend is going to travel there
practice, administering FLOSEM on a during the school vacation. Describe
high-frequency basis (e.g., once a week) your friend as fully as possible. You may
want to write about age, appearance,
may not necessarily yield useful informa­
likes, and dislikes. You may also add
tion. The creators of FLOSEM recom­
any information about your friend you
mend that it be administered two or three
think your pen pal will find interesting.
times in a school year: once after a month
of initial instruction, at the end of the first Source: A Challenge to Change: The Language
Learning Continuum. 1999. Edited by Claire W.
semester, and again at the end of the Jackson. New York: College Entrance Examination
school year. They also recommend that Board, p. 147. Copyright © 1999 by College
Entrance Examination Board. All quotations
raters “observe the learners’ performance reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.
over a range of language-use tasks and www.collegeboard.com.
over an extended period of at least one
month” (Padilla, Sung, and Aninao
1994, 3).
Grade-Level
Finally, FLOSEM creators recommend Considerations
that classroom teachers administer
FLOSEM because they are the most in- The Language Learning Continuum
formed about students’ communicative presents foreign language acquisition in
abilities. terms of stages. As noted in Chapter 2,
some stages can occur at different grade
Articulation and Achievement levels. For example, assessment for Stage I
Project Assessments may occur at the elementary school,
In addition to the performance-based middle school, and high school levels.
assessments mentioned above, sample Assessment for Stage II would most likely
assessments have been developed by the occur at the middle school and high
Articulation and Achievement Project to school levels. Assessment should be
support the Language Learning Con­ aligned to the pertinent stage of the con­
tinuum (see Chapter 2). Included in the tinuum and should be sensitive to the
sample assessments are examples of both grade-level abilities of the students. In
43

other words students at different grade dents in grades three through five admin­ Chapter 5
Assessment of
levels may attain similar levels of profi­ ister a variety of assessments. Additional Students and
ciency, but academic content and contexts sources for assessment instruments that are Evaluation of
Programs
will be different for students at different appropriate for elementary school students
ages and grade levels. Therefore, students are available to teachers:
at different grade levels may be perform­ • Instructor-developed summative in­
ing at the same stage along the con­ struments (Curtain and Pesola 1994)
tinuum. • Summative instruments developed by
Although grade-level considerations are the Center for Applied Linguistics
necessary in constructing appropriate (see <http://www.cal.org>).
assessments, the overall goal is language
Assessment at the middle school level
proficiency. Two variables shape foreign
becomes more extensive and sophisticated
language assessment: the students’ stage Students at
than at the elementary school level. For
on the Language Learning Continuum different grade
example, a progress-monitoring assess­ levels may be
and the students’ grade level. An assess­
ment at the end of a chapter or a unit of performing at
ment activity requiring students to create the same stage
study at this level involves testing for for­
and present a story in the target language along the
mal knowledge (e.g., gender, tense, and continuum.
can differ markedly on the basis of these
idiomatic expressions). It also measures
two variables. For example, third-graders
how well students use the language in
at Stage I on the continuum would most
hypothetical situations, such as ordering
likely create a story by using very simple
from a restaurant menu or writing a letter
language with such a topic of interest as a
to a pen pal.
birthday party. The language of students
At the high school level, assessment
in grade nine at Stage I would most likely
mirrors the increased complexity of objec­
lack sophistication, but the topic would be
tives. Assessments provide teachers with
of interest to students at that particular
information about the ability of students
grade level (e.g., music).
to analyze language elements, such as
In contrast, sixth-graders at Stage II
tense; to reflect on relationships between
who have had extensive foreign language
word order and meaning; and to recognize
education would probably create a linguis­
phrases and idioms that do not translate Two variables
tically sophisticated story, and the topic
directly from one language to another. At shape foreign
would be of interest to students at that language
this level teachers strive to “create an ex­
particular grade level (e.g., shopping). For assessment: the
amination that will require students to students’ stage
high school seniors at Stage II, the lan­
show how well they can use specified fea­ on the Language
guage of the story would probably be Learning
tures of the language and to demonstrate
more sophisticated than that produced by Continuum and
that they understand how such features the students’
ninth-graders, and the topic would prob­
function within naturalistic discourse” grade level.
ably be of interest to students about to
(Omaggio-Hadley 1993, 413).
graduate from high school (e.g., college or
career prospects).
During students’ first three years of Portfolios and Assessment
school (kindergarten through grade two), Portfolios may be used as another class-
teachers conduct most foreign language room indicator of students’ progress and
assessments orally. As students learn to growth. They may provide information
write, teachers evaluate their writing skills that can be used for assessing students’
in the foreign language. Teachers of stu­
44

Chapter 5 progress or placement at appropriate levels Golden State Examination


Assessment of
Students and of instruction (Padilla, Aninao, and Sung
Evaluation of 1996). Portfolios may also be used by and Advanced Placement
Programs
students for self-assessment or for meeting and International
school district requirements at the class-
room level. Portfolios may contain the Baccalaureate Examinations
following samples of students’ work that
Several types of examinations exist that
are useful for assessment purposes:
are appropriate for students who have
• Copies of students’ projects and cre­ completed four years to six years of lan­
ative writing guage study. Many high school foreign
• Results of writing competency assess­ language students and heritage language
ments speakers choose to take the College
• Videorecordings of presentations that Board’s Advanced Placement (AP) tests,
demonstrate students’ skills and which are given in May. These tests mea­
knowledge of the target language and sure students’ competency in listening,
culture speaking, reading, writing, and literature,
• Audiocassettes of oral proficiency as­ and they are scored by readers who have
sessments that record the students’ received extensive training from the Edu­
performance from year to year cational Testing Service (see <http://
www.ets.org>). Students who score a 3, 4,
Heritage Language or 5 on the 0–5 AP scale receive transfer-
able college credit, thus validating their
Assessments high school studies or heritage language
Many students entering California knowledge. Scores on the AP tests help
schools who speak a language other than teachers evaluate their programs in rela­
English display varying abilities and skills tion to national norms and standards.
in their heritage language. After they com­ The Golden State Examination (GSE)
plete both oral and written assessments, was developed and is administered by the
these students can be placed in a language California Department of Education (see
program. It is important to ensure that <http://www.cde.ca.gov/statetests/gse/
both oral and written assessments are con­ gse.html>). The GSE consists of two 45-
ducted in the native language of these minute sessions, one that focuses on lis­
students and, when possible, the students tening and reading and one that focuses
should be placed in classes that address on writing; students demonstrate compe­
their needs. These students should be tency in the language they are studying by
assessed annually with the appropriate responding to listening selections and to
instruments for their level. In addition, reading prompts. The GSE is given to
such assessments may require specially assess students’ level of competency at the
designed measures because the skills of end of the second year of high school
heritage language students may exceed the instruction or its equivalent. Students
level of most instruments used with scoring at level 4, 5, or 6 are awarded
nonnative speakers in foreign language recognition, honors, and high honors,
classes. respectively. Students scoring at level 3
and below are acknowledged for their
participation.
45

Chapter 5
Assessment of
Students and
Evaluation of
Programs

Students who are enrolled in one of • The number of students who meet
the approximately 1,000 high schools performance and content expectations
around the world that are certified by the Other factors also contribute to the
International Baccalaureate Organization success of a foreign language program:
(IBO) take examinations in two languages
• The number of teachers holding for-
as a required part of the IBO two-year,
eign language credentials
comprehensive curriculum. They receive a
• The number and variety of foreign
score of 1 (lowest) to 7 (highest) on a
languages offered
criterion-referenced examination that is
• The degree of involvement of the for­ The success of
graded by examiners who are trained by
eign language teacher in a sustained any foreign
IBO (see <http://www.ibo.org>). Some language program
program of professional development
universities offer advanced standing or is demonstrated
• The support accorded the language by the extent to
course credit to students who score well
program by local school and district which students
on these examinations. achieve expected
administrators and elected officials
levels of
• The degree of support from parents or
Program Evaluation guardians and community organiza­
proficiency.

tions for the foreign language curricu-


The success of any foreign language
lum
program is demonstrated by the extent to
• The amount of teacher-led travel to
which students achieve expected levels of
countries where target languages are
proficiency. Other indicators of a pro-
spoken
gram’s success are as follows:
• The results from the COCI, CWCA, Persons who are interested in foreign
CRCM, and FLOSEM language programs use these indicators to
• The number of students who complete discover program strengths and to identify
two years of foreign language study areas that need improvement.
• The number of students who continue
to study a foreign language at each
subsequent level
Chapter 6
Professional
Development

T
eachers’ knowledge and abilities are the most important
factors in promoting students’ learning. Teaching is a
knowledge-based profession, and teachers, like other profes­
sionals, must remain informed about the latest developments in content
and teaching strategies. Staying current is especially important for for­
eign language teachers, given the rapid developments in cognitive re-
search, particularly in second-language acquisition.
Teachers are responsible for teaching the rich and intellectually chal­
lenging content required by this framework. The goals of professional
development are to provide classroom teachers with the knowledge and

46
47

the skills they need to implement the professional development. Support from
Chapter 6
Professional
state’s guidelines and to ensure that pro­ institutions of higher education and other Development
spective teachers will be prepared to effec­ institutions whose representatives have
tively teach courses in foreign languages. expertise in foreign languages and foreign
Assistance in achieving these goals is pro­ language education must be enlisted in an
vided through the topics discussed in this effort to make high-quality learning envi­
chapter: long-term professional develop­ ronments available to all foreign language
ment and support, professional develop­ teachers. It is important for foreign lan­
ment and retention of new teachers, guage teachers to develop collegial rela­
school district and site programs for pro­ tionships with experts in second language
fessional development, considerations in acquisition in universities and other insti­
designing professional development pro- tutions. Over the years every foreign lan­
grams, undergraduate preparation, and guage teacher should have an opportunity
teachers’ responsibilities for creating an to engage in exchanges and field work in
individual professional development plan. the countries and communities in which
This framework provides a basis for ad- the target language is spoken.
dressing all six of these aspects of profes­ Long-term professional development Teachers must
continually
sional development as they concern programs in foreign languages should be sustain and
foreign language teachers. routinely subject to external assessment to increase their
To meet their professional development ensure that they achieve their goal of en­ knowledge of a
needs, teachers can attend short courses hancing the skills and knowledge of teach­ foreign language,
its target
and workshops that are offered by local ers. Teachers should be encouraged to cultures, and
educational agencies, colleges, universities, share the benefits of their long-term pro­ foreign language
independent providers, and professional fessional development, as appropriate, teaching
organizations. Programs for teachers strategies.
with their colleagues in local in-service
should be carefully evaluated to determine training programs and through teacher
their usefulness; an important aspect of networks. Teachers’ leadership and par­
such evaluation is the measure of their ticipation in national and local profes­
contribution to improving students’ sional organizations that support students’
achievements. learning and achievement of the goals of
the Language Learning Continuum
Long-Term Professional should be valued as hallmarks of the
teachers’ professionalism.
Development and
Support Professional Development
Participating in professional develop­ and Retention of New
ment is the responsibility of all foreign
language teachers. Teachers must continu­ Teachers
ally sustain and increase their knowledge Because they do not have the benefit of
of a foreign language, its target cultures, experience, new teachers may need addi­
and foreign language teaching strategies. tional professional development assistance.
To support teachers, school administrators School administrators and the teachers’
and representatives of state and national colleagues must assist the new teachers in
foreign language interests must expect, succeeding in the classroom. Careful
actively encourage, and reward long-term placement and active mentoring can often
48

Chapter 6 help alleviate isolation, which can be a school district; county offices of educa­
Professional
Development problem for all teachers but is most acute tion; universities; and special projects,
during the first year of teaching. such as the California Foreign Lan­
Administrators should set up activities guage Project
that provide new teachers with ongoing • Developing an annual schedule of
collegial support. The focus of this sup- professional development activities
port may be for teachers to share success­ • Providing release time for teachers to
ful lessons and teaching approaches and to participate in professional develop­
coach one another in ways to improve ment activities
students’ achievements. Experienced • Providing in-service activities that
teachers play an important role in offering assist teachers in more effectively
mentoring and collegial support not only implementing instructional materials
in schools but also in districts and through • Providing workshops on gathering
professional networks. A link between and analyzing data on student perfor­
experienced teachers and new teachers can mance
be made by providing both with the time
to discuss strategies for teaching the con- Considerations in
tent of the framework, opportunities to
observe experienced colleagues’ class- Designing Professional
rooms, and practice in the use of district- Development Programs
adopted curricular materials and lessons.
Administrators can also bring in qualified Professional development is essential
foreign language specialists to help with to implementing the Language Learning
these activities. In such ways new teachers Continuum that is outlined in this
receive support in instruction and class- framework. Therefore, a variety of consid­
room management and gain confidence erations should be examined when profes­
by receiving assistance in improving sional development activities are designed.
lessons. A professional development program may
be able to deal with only a few consider­
ations each year. In deciding how to bal­
School District and Site ance these considerations, teachers and
Programs for Professional school district administrators must have a
clear understanding of the school’s or the
Development district’s goals for professional develop­
School districts have the responsibility ment. The following sections of this chap­
for providing teachers with opportunities ter cover the considerations that play an
to participate in professional development important role in planning professional
activities and the resources for doing so. development programs.
School districts can support professional
development by: Implementing the Language
Learning Continuum
• Organizing and implementing specific
activities appropriate for foreign lan­ All professional development programs
guage teachers in foreign languages should emphasize the
• Providing funds for teachers’ participa­ effective implementation of the content
tion in professional development ac­ and the Language Learning Continuum
tivities that are sponsored by the presented in this framework. Persons who
49

provide professional development pro- language also increase as does their use of Chapter 6
Professional
grams must be willing to demonstrate the a variety of instructional strategies and Development
effectiveness of their recommendations for assessments.
the typically diverse California classroom.
They must be competent in a foreign Meeting Diverse Students’ Needs
language and competent teachers of teach­ Professional development programs
ers. They must also be competent in man- should be designed to help teachers and
aging classrooms effectively and in helping administrators expand their understanding
teachers learn effective instructional strate­ of students’ similarities and differences,
gies. Such competencies come from expe­ of students’ diverse cultures, and of the
rience, demonstrated success teaching instructional implications resulting from
students, and academic preparation and such differences. In meeting the diversity
study. Programs are more likely to have a of students’ needs, teachers must know on
lasting influence if they have sustained which aspects of the Language Learning
support and are locally based and if teach­ Continuum they need to spend more
ers play a role in planning and evaluation. time. Students’ previous knowledge and Professional
experience in foreign languages are signifi­ development
Maximizing Instructional Time cant factors in deciding which aspects of programs should
focus on both
Effective professional development the continuum to emphasize, which as­
foreign language
enables teachers to maximize instructional pects to revisit, and which topic or func­ proficiency for
time. It can help teachers to resolve tion to spend more time on. Therefore, students and the
language-specific classroom management professional development programs instructional
strategies that
issues (e.g., structuring interactive com­ should focus on both foreign language best achieve it.
munication activities) and more general­ proficiency for students and the instruc­
ized management concerns (e.g., dealing tional strategies that best achieve it (see
with inappropriately high levels of class- Chapter 4).
room noise, frequent tardiness or ab­
sences, or students’ inattention). Program Involving Parents or Guardians
activities may be structured to raise teach­ The extent to which parents or guard­
ers’ proficiency in a foreign language. As ians are involved in and knowledgeable
their proficiency increases, teachers find of a school’s foreign language program
that their comfort levels in using the target influences the extent to which students
50

Chapter 6 succeed. Therefore, it is valuable to pro- becoming foreign language teachers. Re­
Professional
Development vide teachers with staff development cruitment of new teachers requires sup-
programs that help them develop various port through preservice preparation.
strategies to assist parents or guardians in Given the shortage of highly trained for­
becoming effectively involved in the for­ eign language teachers in California,
eign language education of their children. schools and undergraduate institutions
must actively encourage talented foreign
Assessing Students’ Progress language students to enter teaching ca­
Teachers should be able to use various reers. Undergraduate internships in
forms of assessment, including methods kindergarten-through-grade-twelve
for monitoring students’ progress. When classrooms, followed up with guided re­
such assessments reveal that students are flection and discussion, can be an effective
not progressing at expected stages along recruitment tool and can enhance the
the Language Learning Continuum, value of an undergraduate foreign lan­
teachers should employ appropriate strate­ guage education. Student teachers can
Teachers of gies. Professional staff development activi­ enhance their preparation by collaborating
foreign languages ties can provide teachers with a repertoire with master teachers.
need professional
development
of such strategies, and adopted instruc­
experiences that tional materials should include recom­ The Individual Professional
will deepen their mended strategies.
knowledge of a
foreign language
Development Plan
Articulating Instruction
and its culture or Teachers of foreign languages need
cultures. Teachers need to understand the way
professional development experiences that
in which the content they are teaching is
will deepen their knowledge of a foreign
related to the content that was taught at
language and its culture or cultures.
previous stages and how the current con-
Teachers need professional development
tent will prepare students for foreign
experiences that will improve their abilities
language instruction at later stages. Well-
to manage and to monitor students’ learn­
designed instructional materials will
ing. Foreign language teachers need time
greatly facilitate the articulation process
to reflect on their practices and to learn
(see Chapter 8). At the same time, in-
from experience. They need to become
service training or other professional de­
members of teaching and learning com­
velopment activities should show teachers
munities. Within the range of professional
how their teaching is an integral part of
development resources, teachers have a
the Language Learning Continuum. Such
responsibility to create an individual pro­
training should also show teachers how
fessional development plan. To create
they can develop strategies for linking
such a plan, teachers may choose from a
their teaching to materials of earlier and
wide range of activities. For example,
later stages (e.g., identifying review mate-
teachers may:
rials for improving students’ foundational
skills). • Participate in workshops on providing
instruction that reinforces the total
school curriculum.
Undergraduate Preparation • Participate in workshops on providing
Young adults who excel in their study an articulated curriculum of continu­
of foreign languages are candidates for ous and sequential study.
51

• Study, work, reside, or travel in the • Take additional courses related to Chapter 6
Professional
target language areas. language acquisition, language teach­ Development
• Take postbaccalaureate courses or ing, and the study of the target lan­
seminars conducted in the language. guage and its cultures.
• Interact with other speakers of the • Maintain a professional library of
target language. books, periodicals, and other media
• Interact extensively with native that focuses on language, culture, and
speakers. methodology.
• Participate in seminars, workshops, • Engage in appropriate research activi­
conferences, and programs in the ties and collect and analyze data to
United States and in other countries. inform instructional practices.
• Participate in cultural exchange pro- • Participate in departmental and inter-
grams to gain new insights into the disciplinary faculty development op­
culture studied. portunities, especially in the local
• Attend workshops and courses on district or region.
curriculum content, intercultural • Participate in programs for the devel­
education, technology, and language opment of teaching competency and
assessment. leadership skills.
• Participate in faculty discussion • Gain experience through participation,
groups, peer observation and service, and leadership in school, com­
mentoring activities, and task forces munity, and professional organiza­
that address learning outcomes, in­ tions.
structional approaches, and assessment • Assume various roles in professional
techniques. organizations.
• Dialogue with teachers at all levels of • Participate in local, regional, and state-
instruction. wide education reform efforts.
Chapter 7
The Role of Parents or
Guardians, Administrators,
and the Community

S
trong foreign language programs result from the combined
efforts of school and district administrators, counselors,
school boards, state agencies, and the public. The quality of the
students’ classroom experiences depends on how successfully these
members of the academic and local communities work in their diverse
capacities to nurture foreign language instruction. The most important
support that can come from all groups is a genuine conviction that lan­
guages are of such critical value to California and to individual students
that all students are strongly encouraged to learn at least one language
in addition to English and their native language.

52
53

Administrators School Boards Chapter 7


The Role of
Parents or
To build a strong foreign language To build a strong foreign language Guardians,
program, school and district administra­ program, local school boards should: Administrators,
and the
tors should: • Recognize the value of providing for­ Community

• Align their foreign language improve­ eign language opportunities for all
ment efforts with the state’s frame- students.
work and textbook adoption cycle. • Provide support for expanding foreign
• Allocate a fair proportion of available language programs until they span all
funds for staffing properly foreign grade levels in the district.
language departments, purchasing • Establish programs in languages not
learning materials and equipment, and commonly taught, especially those of
providing staff development. the Pacific Rim.
• Recruit a well-qualified curriculum • Establish and support heritage lan­
specialist who understands and sup- guage programs.
ports foreign language education. • Support professional growth by pro­
• Establish conditions whereby only viding teacher incentives, such as rec­
teachers who are competent in lan­ ognition and financial assistance.
guages and teaching are recruited, • Ensure that hiring practices place only
hired, assigned, and retained. qualified teachers in foreign language
• Evaluate foreign language teachers by classrooms.
using criteria primarily based on the • Furnish adequate funding for expand­
attainment of program objectives. ing programs and enrollment and for
• Inform the governing board about ensuring reasonable class size.
critical foreign language needs. • Facilitate and approve students’ par­
ticipation in worthwhile learning expe­
Counselors riences that may require travel.

To support and encourage students’


enrollment in foreign language courses,
Students
counselors should: The opportunity to study at least one
• Recognize the rapidly increasing career foreign language needs to be made avail-
value of studying a foreign language. able to all students. All students are
• Encourage all students to begin the capable of mastering another language.
study of a second language as early as Students must recognize that learning and
possible and to continue the study for progressing in the study of a foreign lan­
as long as possible. guage requires dedication and determina­
• Consult with the language staff about tion. Mastering another language may not
the placement of students in language be easy, but its rewards are great and al­
classes. ways evident whenever the student hears,
• Advise students early regarding foreign speaks, reads, and writes the language.
language requirements for high school Students can contribute to the effective­
graduation and college or university ness of the foreign language program by:
entrance. • Participating in class
• Attending all classes and completing
all assignments
54

Chapter 7
The Role of
Parents or
Guardians,
Administrators,
and the
Community

• Being determined to learn the lan­ • Advocating support of foreign lan­


guage guage instruction in their own com­
• Supporting other students and cooper­ munity and in their professional and
Native speakers ating with the teacher political organizations
of the target • Being responsible for their own learn­
language often
ing Local Communities
volunteer to help
in classrooms. • Making full use of community re-
sources, including language groups, Many communities have resources
native speakers, and peers who speak that are valuable to language students
the target language and teachers. Native speakers of the
• Listening to, speaking in, reading in, target language often volunteer to help
and writing in the language at every in classrooms. They coach students,
opportunity converse in the target language, give talks,
lead and stimulate small-group activities,
and accompany classes on field trips.
Parents or Guardians Teachers can encourage members of the
Parents or guardians provide the most community to:
vital link between students and the com­ • Serve as members of language booster
munity. Parents or guardians can contrib­ groups.
ute to the effectiveness of the foreign • Help teachers prepare instructional
language program by: materials.
• Encouraging their children to study at • Serve as classroom aides.
least one language other than their • Sponsor and help with extracurricular
own and supporting such study language activities.
• Providing diverse linguistic and cul­ • Host visitors and exchange students
tural models based on their own back- from other countries.
ground • Encourage public officials to support
• Encouraging the establishment and foreign language programs.
growth of a variety of language pro- • Serve on school-organized task forces
grams at each grade level that are formed to make recom-
55

mendations about language instruc­ Chapter 7


in the community. Cooperative efforts
The Role of
tion. lead to: Parents or
• Help students with homework assign­ • Technical assistance and equipment Guardians,
Administrators,
ments. for classroom use and the
• Persuade community organizations • Financial support for scholarships, Community
and service clubs to sponsor, support, language camps, field days, and stu­
or publicize projects benefiting foreign dent-exchange programs
language education. • Internships for foreign language stu­
• Serve as resources that provide authen­ dents and native language speakers
tic target-language experiences. • Public awareness campaigns to advo­ Support of
foreign language
cate additional study of foreign lan­ programs and
Businesses and Industry guages and cultures international
• Contacts with agencies and people in education
Support of foreign language programs other countries programs is in
and international education programs is in the best interests
• Invitations to speakers who will moti­ of most busi­
the best interests of most businesses and vate and inform language students nesses and
industries. Foreign language programs in • Support for foreign language educa­ industries.
the schools can become more effective tion at local, regional, and state levels
when their representatives take the initia­
tive in forming alliances with firms located
Chapter 8
The Criteria for Evaluating
Kindergarten-Through-Grade-Eight
Foreign Language Instructional
Materials

T
hese criteria evaluate the alignment of instructional materials
with the Language Learning Continuum, the content of the
framework, and the quality of those materials in the areas of
program organization, assessment, universal access, and instructional
planning and support. They will guide the development and govern
the adoption cycle of kindergarten-through-grade-eight instructional
materials beginning in 2003. They do not recommend or require one
particular pedagogical approach. The numerical order of the criteria
within each category does not imply relative importance; all criteria
must be addressed. They may also be used by publishers and local

56
57

educational agencies as a guide for the Extraneous content is fundamentally con­ Chapter 8
The Criteria for
development and selection of instructional trary to and detracts from the ability of Evaluating
materials for grades nine through twelve. teachers to teach readily and students to Kindergarten-
Through-Grade-
These criteria are organized into five learn thoroughly the content specified by Eight Foreign
categories: the Language Learning Continuum and Language

1. Curriculum Content: The content as the Foreign Language Framework. Instructional


Materials
specified in the Foreign Language
Framework Criteria Category 1:
2. Program Organization: The sequence
and the organization of the foreign
Foreign Language
language program Content/Alignment
3. Assessment: The strategies presented with Curriculum
in the instructional materials for mea­
suring what students know and are Instructional materials support teaching
able to do and learning the skills and knowledge
called for at the different stages as outlined
4. Universal Access: The information
in the Language Learning Continuum and
and ideas that address the needs of
that are appropriate for the designated
special student populations, including
grade levels. Materials are fully aligned
students eligible for special education,
with the content of the framework. The
advanced students, students who are
materials must facilitate and enable stu­
studying a heritage language, and
dents to communicate in the language.
students whose achievement in read­
Programs with consistent inaccuracies and
ing/language arts is either below or
a large number of errors will not be con­
above that typical of the class or grade
sidered for adoption.
level
To be considered suitable for adoption,
5. Instructional Planning and Support: instructional materials in foreign language
The instructional planning and sup- will provide:
port information and materials, typi­
1. A list of evidence, with page numbers
cally including a separate edition
and/or other appropriate references,
specially designed for use by the
that demonstrates alignment with the
teacher, that assist teachers in the
stage(s) of the Language Learning
implementation of the foreign lan­
Continuum
guage program
2. All content as specified at each stage
Foreign language materials must support
of the continuum that is supported by
teaching aligned with the framework. Mate-
topics or concepts, lessons, activities,
rials that fail to meet the foreign language
examples, and/or illustrations, and so
content criteria will not be considered satis­
forth as appropriate
factory for adoption. Only those programs
determined to meet criterion category 1 need 3. Accurate content to support foreign
to be evaluated under criteria categories 2 language instruction in the areas of
through 5. listening, speaking, reading, and writ­
In an effort to create focused foreign ing
language instructional materials, publish­ 4. Foreign language content that is pre­
ers are asked to concentrate on the con- sented in interesting and engaging
tent as described in the framework. ways to students
58

Chapter 8 5. Grammar and vocabulary appropri­ 11. Practice in listening, speaking, read­
The Criteria for
Evaluating ately used and accurately defined ing, and writing activities that im­
Kindergarten-
6. Listening, speaking, reading, and prove language proficiency and lead
Through-Grade-
Eight Foreign writing activities in a foreign language to student attainment of the desig­
Language that are grammatically accurate and nated stage of the Language Learning
Instructional
culturally appropriate Continuum
Materials
7. Listening, speaking, reading, and 12. Materials that enable students to com­
writing opportunities in a foreign municate in the language
language through direct instruction Criteria categories 2 through 5 shall be
and activities, such as conversations, considered after a program has been deter-
reading and writing assignments, and mined to have the necessary content. A
listening exercises and essays, that program meeting criteria categories 2
focus on the student’s improving and through 5 will be approved, and a pro-
demonstrating proficiency gram failing to meet one category of the
8. Instruction that is culturally appropri­ criteria will not be approved.
ate and develops listening, speaking,
reading, and writing in a foreign lan­ Criteria Category 2:
guage
9. Opportunities for students to increase
Program Organization
their knowledge and understanding of Sequential organization of the foreign
a foreign language through the study language program provides structure re­
of the literature, art, history, philoso­ lated to what students should learn each
phy, and culture(s) year and allows teachers to convey the
10. Opportunities for students to use foreign language content efficiently and
technology to practice communica­ effectively. The program will be well orga­
tion in the language and access infor­ nized and presented in a manner consis­
mation about the language tent with providing all students an
opportunity to achieve the essential
knowledge and skills described in the
Language Learning Continuum. A pro-
gram must designate which stage(s) of the
Language Learning Continuum is/are
being addressed.
To be considered suitable for adoption,
instructional materials in foreign language
must provide:
1. Instructional resources, aligned with
the Language Learning Continuum,
that introduce new knowledge and
skills at a reasonable pace and depth
of coverage and explicitly prepare
students for later stage(s)
2. A logical and coherent structure that
facilitates efficient and effective teach­
ing and learning within a lesson, unit,
59

and year aligned with the Language ciency levels for the designated stage of the Chapter 8
The Criteria for
Learning Continuum Language Learning Continuum. Evaluating
3. Clearly stated student outcomes and To be considered suitable for adoption, Kindergarten-
Through-Grade-
goals that are measurable and frame- instructional materials in foreign language Eight Foreign
work-based must provide: Language
Instructional
4. An overview of the content in each 1. Strategies or instruments teachers can Materials
chapter or unit that designates how use to determine students’ prior
the lesson supports the Language knowledge
Learning Continuum 2. Multiple measures of the individual
5. A well-organized structure that pro­ student’s progress at regular intervals Assessment
measures should
vides students with the opportunity to to evaluate his or her attainment of
reveal students’
listen, speak, read, and write in the the appropriate stage knowledge and
language and build on knowledge and 3. Guiding questions for monitoring understanding of
the language.
skills obtained through other language students’ comprehension when listen­
studies and/or immersion ing, speaking, reading, and writing
6. Activities and texts that organize the 4. Performance assessments and accom­
content in a logical way such that panying rubrics that can be used to
prerequisite skills and knowledge are evaluate and improve the quality of
developed before the more complex students’ work
concepts and understandings that
depend on them
Criteria Category 4:
7. Tables of contents, indexes, glossaries,
content summaries, and assessment Universal Access Instructional
materials should
guides that are designed to help teach­ provide access to
Instructional materials should provide
ers, parents or guardians, and students the curriculum
access to the curriculum for all students, for all students,
including those with special needs: ad­ including those
Criteria Category 3: vanced learners, heritage language learn­ with special
ers, students with learning difficulties, and needs.
Assessment special education students. Programs must
Assessment should measure what stu­ conform to the policies of the State Board
dents know and are able to do. Instruc­ of Education as well as other applicable
tional resources should contain multiple state and federal guidelines pertaining to
measures to assess students’ progress. As­ diverse populations and students with
sessment measures should reveal students’ special needs.
knowledge and understanding of the lan­ To be considered suitable for adoption,
guage. Assessment tools that publishers instructional materials in foreign language
include as a part of their instructional must provide:
material should provide evidence of stu­ 1. Suggestions based on current and
dents’ progress toward meeting the profi­ confirmed research for ways to adapt
ciency levels of the Language Learning the curriculum and the instruction to
Continuum. Assessment tools should meet students’ identified special needs
provide information teachers can use in 2. Strategies to help students who are
planning and modifying instruction to below grade level in reading/language
help all students meet or exceed the profi­ arts understand the foreign language
content
60

Chapter 8 3. Suggestions for advanced learners that 4. Lesson plans and suggestions for orga­
The Criteria for
Evaluating allow students to study content in nizing resources in the classroom and
Kindergarten- greater depth ideas for pacing lessons
Through-Grade-
Eight Foreign 4. Strategies and suggestions to help 5. A list of materials that support the
Language heritage language learners to learn and Language Learning Continuum
Instructional
Materials
understand all aspects of the language 6. Suggestions and information on how
to use authentic and accurate conver­
Criteria Category 5: sations and written communications
to promote instruction in the lan­
Instructional Planning guage
and Support 7. Suggestions for how to use student
assessment data within the program
Teacher support materials should be for instructional planning purposes
built into the instructional materials and
8. Technical support and suggestions for
should specify suggestions and illustrative
appropriate use of audiovisual, multi-
examples of how teachers can use the Lan­
media, and information technology
guage Learning Continuum. Assistance
resources associated with a unit
should be designed to help teachers imple­
ment the program in a way that ensures 9. Suggestions for activities and strate­
the opportunity for all students to learn gies to inform parents or guardians
the essential skills and knowledge called about the foreign language program
for in the curriculum. These criteria do 10. References and resources for the
not recommend or require one particular teacher to provide further study of the
pedagogical approach. Publishers should language
make recommendations to teachers re­ 11. Demonstration of electronic resources
garding instructional approaches that fit for teachers (e.g., audiotapes, video-
the instructional goals. Programs should tapes, and other electronic media) that
provide teachers with a variety of instruc­ depict appropriate techniques and
tional approaches that might include, but teaching suggestions
are not limited to, direct instruction, as- 12. Homework assignments that support
signed reading and writing, conversations classroom learning and are written so
with native speakers, and presentations of that parents or guardians who are
authentic and accurate cultural situations. knowledgeable of the language can
To be considered suitable for adoption, easily help their children
planning and support resources in foreign
13. Suggestions that are tied to the Lan­
language must provide:
guage Learning Continuum and that
1. Clearly written and accurate explana­ allow students to study content in
tions of listening, speaking, reading, greater depth
and writing in the language being
14. Teacher’s editions that include ample
studied
and useful annotations and sugges­
2. Strategies to address and correct com­ tions on how to present the content in
mon student errors the student edition and ancillary ma­
3. A variety of pedagogical strategies for terials
flexible grouping of students
61

Selected References

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