Linguistic and Cultural Competence Guidelines|
Guidelines for the Development of World Language Teachers:
Meeting the Vision of the Standards
Leading experts in the field currently define state of the art teaching according to the following guidelines:
National Foreign Language Standards
Because teachers tend to teach the way they were taught, content instruction must be a model of good teaching. It should incorporate the five Cs: Communication., Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities.
Thematic Centers, Issues and Content Areas
Issue-based courses need to develop language proficiency as well as students' higher order thinking skills, moving from thematic units in a basic language course to more complex problem- solving around global issues. Examples of courses that could be offered: Bilingualism/ESL; Health; sustainable development in the rain forest; The World of the Hispanic (French, German, Italian ..) Child; World Trade Issues and New Forms of Democracy in Latin America.
Courses need to maximize exposure to varied thematic and linguistic domains. Culture in all its complexity is infused as a part of each course so that students learn about the historical frames of culture, develop multiple cultural perspectives, view culture as an ongoing process, and undertake contrastive cultural analysis. This will lead to reflection regarding life experiences that is necessary for global citizens.
Bridging the gap between foreign language content courses and education courses, a culminating project will be produced by students and evaluated by both a content (language) professor and education professor. This project is seen as a capstone which includes content, general pedagogy and language pedagogy. Ideally this would give students the opportunity to develop a sample thematic unit appropriate to two distinct developmental levels.
All students must have an extended language immersion experience. The recommended experience is one year abroad. The minimum experience is three months. This experience could be: work, study or living abroad. This experience should be documented by journals, transcripts, photos, and/or a portfolio.
Upon completing the immersion experience, a returning colloquium should be required. This would allow students an opportunity to share experiences and discuss cultural and linguistic aspects they have become aware of as a result of the immersion.
Assessment of Language Proficiency
Leading foreign language associations, current foreign language education programs, and nationally recognized experts, all recommend that advanced level proficiency is required to conduct classes principally in the target language. Therefore educators must be able to demonstrate an oral proficiency level of at least Advanced low as per American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Guidelines.
Assessment of Oral Proficiency
The use of outcome-based proficiency assessment should be in place throughout the curriculum. Before certification, it is recommend perspective teachers be evaluated using: the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) or the Simulated Oral Proficiency Interview (SOPI).
We recognize that there are at least two populations among candidates who need to be tested:
Heritage speakers in either of the two categories will follow the guidelines stipulated below:
Group 1: must demonstrate at least Advanced low level of oral proficiency for certification.
Group 2: must demonstrate at least Advanced low level of oral proficiency two years from the adoption of these guidelines. If this group fails to meet this standard then their PIP (Professional Improvement Plan) should include an objective designed to provide progress toward achievement and the teacher's 100 hours of required professional development should include opportunities to develop this level of linguistic proficiency.
Reading and Writing Proficiency
It is recommended that reading and writing proficiencies be assessed at the degree granting institution in order to assure competency in these two skills.
Summary of ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines
Novice: word level
Intermediate: sentence level
Advanced: paragraph level
Superior: extended discourse
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