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position statements

The ability to communicate with respect and cultural understanding in more than one language is an essential element of global competence.* This competence is developed and demonstrated by investigating the world, recognizing and weighing perspectives, acquiring and applying disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge, communicating ideas, and taking action. Global competence is fundamental to the experience of learning languages whether in classrooms, through virtual connections, or via everyday experiences.

The ACTFL Board’s Executive Committee with leadership of the National Association of District Supervisors of Foreign Languages (NADSFL) and the National Council of State Supervisors for Languages (NCSSFL) framed the elements of a position statement to describe how four major initiatives in education in the U.S. today connect with language learning.

Maximum Class Size - 05/22/2010
Since the goal of a standards-based language program is to develop students’ ability to communicate, there must be opportunities for frequent and meaningful student-to-teacher and student-to-student interaction, monitored practice, and individual feedback during instructional time. 
 

Since research shows that an early language learning experience generally results in the development of native or near-native pronunciation and intonation, ACTFL recommends that students be provided the opportunity to learn a second language as early as possible in school.

ACTFL believes that the opportunity to learn any second language is more important than the specific language that is learned since research shows that generally learning a third or fourth language is facilitated after learning a second. 

It is rare to find a language class that does not use some form of technology.  In recent years, technology has been used to both assist and enhance language learning. Teachers at K-16 levels have incorporated various forms of technology to support their teaching, engage students in the learning process, provide authentic examples of the target culture, and connect their classrooms in the U.S. to classrooms in other countries where the target language is spoken.

Maximum Class Size - 07/30/2012

Since the goal of a standards-based language program is to develop students’ ability to communicate, there must be opportunities for frequent and meaningful student-to-teacher and student-to-student interaction, monitored practice, and individual feedback during instructional time.

Research indicates that effective language instruction must provide significant levels of meaningful communication* and interactive feedback in the target language in order for students to develop language and cultural proficiency. The pivotal role of target-language interaction in language learning is emphasized in the K-16 Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century.

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