Foreign Language Education-Proficiency Movement Report

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In this same period, serious steps have been taken to improve secondary foreign language programs through a communicative approach to language instruction. This shift to an orientation toward proficiency, particularly at the high school level, has had widespread implications for what is taught and how.

The Numbers Speak: Foreign Language Requirements Are a Waste of Time and Money

In contrast, middle school foreign language programs have received relatively little attention. Increasing emphasis on early and long sequences of instruction in a foreign language, combined with the impact of the conversion of junior high schools to middle schools, necessitates that we take a new look at how foreign languages are taught at the middle school level. Foreign language instruction in middle schools will be critical to the success of long sequences in the coming years, yet little of the foreign language professional literature has addressed practices appropriate to the middle level.

Unlike elementary schools, where students spend most of their day with one teacher, or high schools, where students follow individual schedules with six or seven teachers a day, middle schools are most often organized around interdisciplinary teams. Teams usually consist of four or five teachers who serve students.

These teams meet daily to plan and deliver instruction to meet the requirements of the curriculum.

Why study?

Figures References Related Information. Russell Neuman. Cape Town, Southafrica: Juta. The rest of teachers affirm that they use portfolio assessment to control the learning progress. If I have to characterise the Dutch Reform Movement, I would call it moderate in the sense that the majority took a moderate view of the proposed changes and adopted the new principles slowly but surely. Professor 8 Due to the lack of time I decided to use closed question tests, even though I am aware that they do not offer me the information about productive skills such as speaking or writing. Expanding Chinese language capacity in the United States.

Often, foreign language teachers are not included in the team, and many feel excluded from the heart of the school's mission. Some schools have worked to rectify this problem by including foreign language teachers as part of the core team.

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Thematic Units. In this approach, the most common in middle schools today, all teachers on the team organize the content and skills of their discipline around a predetermined theme.

Foreign Language Standards -- CAL Resource Guide Online

Team-wide thematic units have caused concern for teachers who see certain themes as incongruent with the objectives of their discipline. This is particularly true in subjects such as mathematics and foreign languages, where teachers tend to view their objectives as sequential and hierarchical, with little flexibility about what should be taught and when. Nonetheless, many creative teachers are finding ways to contribute to thematic units. Curricular Connections. Teachers can make connections when two or more disciplines coincide. For example, Spanish teachers may teach certain culture objectives when social studies teachers are working on a unit on Latin America. The teachers may agree to teach their individual yet complementary units at the same time, or they may plan jointly to ensure mutual reinforcement and enrichment.

While curricular connections are apparent in some subjects, others are less obvious. Many innovative foreign language teachers are creating curricular connections as a viable approach to interdisciplinary instruction.

Foreign Language Standards

Foreign language education in the United States at the beginning of the twenty- first Proficiency movement and standards initiatives have changed the focus of language . National reports played a strong role in this reawakening of interest. Results 1 - 30 of 36 [KINDLE] Foreign Language Education-Proficiency Movement Report by Jone- Marie Chastain. Book file PDF easily for everyone and every.

For example, to connect foreign language and mathematics objectives, students who are working on a food unit in French can calculate the average and median price per pound of meat by comparing prices in grocery ads. Thinking Skills Development.

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Teachers from two or more disciplines may focus on teaching students designated learning strategies or thinking skills as part of the content of each discipline. For example, both foreign language and English teachers can use a process approach to writing to ensure that students draw on the same skills and strategies when composing in either language.

Piaget has suggested that the middle years are the time children move from the stage of concrete to formal operations. How new concepts are acquired will be influenced by maturational development.


They could be, but that would require two or perhaps three or four times the commitment in classroom hours. That is simply not practical, given all the other important breadth and skill requirements of most undergraduate programs. I contacted a number of academic foreign language scholars and staff members at a variety of associations that promote foreign language learning in postsecondary education to ask about research. As best as I can determine from the responses I have received, other than a few fragmentary statistics, the question about language learning outcomes remains largely unanswered.

We do have some estimates on language proficiency. These are difficult estimates to make because they are based on gross numbers of language students and separate surveys of adults reporting on their language skills. Yet they may be realistic, given the views of some in the language community. Given the lack of hard evidence in the scholarly literature about language-proficiency outcomes, I decided to undertake my own independent survey of American four-year college graduates through Survata, which conducts online survey studies. In this case 1, Clearly, requirements make a big difference in exposure to foreign language instruction, but there appears to be significant language study in nonrequirement institutions, which may be taken to be a good sign.

Exactly half of the respondents who have graduated recently reported their institution had a foreign language requirement. Older respondents, however, were more likely to report that they had no language requirement when they were students, which may mean there were fewer requirements decades ago or that it was more difficult to recall the rules in force back then. We turn to a key question: What is the relationship between adult foreign language proficiency and the number of semesters of study, and how does the existence of a language requirement interact with these dynamics? Thus, statistically speaking, the foreign language requirement appears to have no meaningful effect on the language proficiency of graduates from those institutions.

Males had modestly higher levels of language proficiency than females, older respondents modestly lower than younger ones. Another key question is the impact of language study in college on cultural sensitivity and global awareness. I had limited opportunity to assess those dimensions in our short survey, so I asked simply if the respondents were inclined to seek out or to avoid foreign cultures and languages.

It seemed possible that a language requirement could have a boomerang effect -- turning some students away from further language learning.

Background of Language Learning Strategies

That turned out not to be the case at all. And, again, we found no significant difference for requirement and nonrequirement institutions. Such complex phenomena as critical thinking skills and cultural or linguistic sensitivity are not easily assessed. Part of the challenge is a lack of clarity about what educators mean when they use such terms.

The increased attention to learning outcomes and systematic assessment in higher education may bring some greater definition to these iconic and potentially overused educational catchphrases. Student age as reported by agents.

An Intro to Teaching Language Proficiency Through Reading and Storytelling for Language Teachers

The under 18 age group is already more noticeable in English and overall, the number of juniors is predicted to grow for other European languages as well. Therefore, language schools catering for these languages need to be prepared for a change in product.

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