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World Languages
Professional Development Institute 2000

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World Languages Resources for K-12 Teachers and Parents

Do you remember how you were taught another language? You probably took two years of a second language in high school or college because it was required to graduate. You most likely experienced endless grammar translations and embarrassing corrections as you tried to speak and write in this new language, and you likely saw little or no purpose for learning another language when English seemed enough. Do you have pleasant memories of your second language learning experience? Most importantly, how well do you speak that language now?

Fortunately, second language education is changing in New Jersey where students will benefit from the state's requirement for an early start in second language learning beginning in the elementary grades with language study extending into high school. All New Jersey schools also are using new methods for second language instruction that address the state's standards for world languages, which emphasize communication and cultural understanding.

Today's world language classrooms are very different than those of the past, and all New Jersey students will have an opportunity to enjoy learning and using a second language.

Students communicate in the second language
Students use language for a purpose, and demonstrate understanding of what is said in the second language.
Students work together Students share ideas and work in small groups and in pairs on common projects. These activities develop collaboration skills that help prepare students to work as members of a team.
Students actively participate in challenging learning activities Students discuss issues, solve problems, research information, make comparisons, and evaluate situations.
Students work in a comfortable, fun-filled classroom atmosphere Students participate in activities they often select themselves. They play games, sing songs, participate in plays, etc. They actively use the second language and are not over-corrected so that they feel comfortable using the second language, even though they may make mistakes.
Students prepare for the world of work Students are aware of the importance of communicating in a second language to obtain good jobs and advance in today's global economy.
Students use a variety of instructional materials Students are provided with instructional materials that are appropriate for the age, grade, and level of language proficiency. A textbook should not be the only material used for instruction and may not be used at all. Materials used should:
  • Be current;
  • Reflect the native culture;
  • Be authentic (native language newspapers, magazines, and web sites);
  • Make language more real and meaningful (CDs, videos, puppets, photographs, posters, and transparencies).
Students use the second language in different subjects Students make important connections among their learning experiences by using the second language in creative activities in science, math, social studies and other subjects.
Students learn about different cultures Students experience other cultures and discuss how cultural differences affect the way people live, communicate and express themselves.
Students use technology Technology brings languages and cultures into the classroom in an immediate and authentic (real-life) way. Interactive media, audiovisual materials and computer software can bring the language experience to life in the classroom.

Students are encouraged to use the Internet to conduct research and obtain information, prepare projects, and communicate with students and other individuals in various parts of the world. The use of technology may also include audio and videotaping, use of digital cameras, fax machines and the telephone to encourage the use of the second language for a particular purpose.
Students are assessed in a variety of ways Assessment provides regular feedback to students, allowing them to demonstrate their gains in proficiency in the second language, and providing opportunities for students to correct their errors and assess themselves. Assessment stresses understanding and communication in the second language, linked to real-life activities. Typical assessment activities include the following:
·  oral presentations
· panel discussions
· video/audio-taping
· reports
· journals
· group work
· portfolios
· tests/quizzes
· demonstrations
·  technology-based projects
· open-ended questions
· research projects
· cultural presentations
· artistic productions
· self-assessment
· multimedia presentations
· interviews with native speakers
   

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www.globalteachinglearning.com   Updated: Fri Nov 23 2007