The World Languages Standards in Maine’s Learning Results: Parameters for Essential Instruction are closely modeled on the national foreign language standards, which provide further guidance and recommendations for world language programs in grades K-12.
- State Standards for World Languages (RTF, 346KB). Maine's Learning Results includes World Languages Standards. Elementary, middle and high school programming in Maine’s publicly supported schools must be aligned to the knowledge and skills described in this document.
- National Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century. An executive summary of the national standards from American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL).
- Alignment to Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The National Standards for Learning Languages aligns directly to the CCSS for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects.
Growing a Language Program
One of ACTFL's Guiding Principles for Language Learning is articulated sequences in language learning. Research tells us that higher levels of language proficiency requires a well-articulated and sequential study of a language over an extended period of time. For a myriad of reasons, it is also important for schools to have multiple entry points into the curriculum. The multiple entry points serve to support students who transfer among schools, student choice, and students who choose to study additional languages. The framework developed by New Jersey may serve as a resource for districts interested in growing their language program.
In addition to supporting all of Maine's Guiding Principles, learning another language: prepares students to navigate the modern global economy, develops greater cognitive development, leads to greater academic achievement, and develop more positive attitudes towards other cultures. More information about the benefits of learning another language can be found in ACTFL's Guiding Principles for Language Learning and in the research compiled by ACTFL.
A World Language curriculum focuses on two components: building proficiency in the target language and developing global competencies. In developing curriculum, it is recommended that writers use Principles of Backward Design to create standards-based curriculum.
When setting benchmarks for the course's curriculum, there are two major factors to consider. First, how much instructional time will students receive in the target language? Second, which language group does the target language fall into? A student's ability to acquire language will still vary, but these two questions will allow teachers to establish a minimum benchmark for language proficiency.
Unpacking National Standards
In 2012 The Language Educator magazine published by ACTFL published a series of five articles focused on the National Standards for Foreign Language Learning. These articles may prove useful to educators in unpacking standards for their curriculum work.