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Guiding Principles for Language Learning

These Guiding Principles for Language Learning identify what is effective in language learning and provide guidance to educators and learners alike. These statements are not a finite or fixed list, but are intended to evolve and continue to grow as new topics emerge and to reflect new realities in the diversity of learners and learning situations. These Guiding Principles are presented to lead and shape the discussion on effective instructional practices, useful to:

  • Learners
  • Educators
  • Parents
  • Administrators
  • Governing Bodies and Boards
  • Legislators
  • Community at large

Guiding Principles

Opening Statement: What are these Guiding Principles?

  1. Benefits of Language Learning
  2. Literacy in Language Learning
  3. Articulated Sequences in Language Learning
  4. Use of Target Language in Language Learning
  5. Use of Authentic Texts in Language Learning
  6. Communicative Tasks for Language Learning
  7. Backward Design
  8. Teaching Grammar as Concepts in Meaningful Contexts in Language Learning
  9. Critical Role of Feedback

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ACTFL welcomes ongoing discussion to update and refine these statements, informed by new research and experiences.  Join the discussion.

Each Guiding Principle follows the format of answering four questions:

  • What? Identifies the guiding principle and briefly describes it.
  • Why? Explains a rationale behind the statement, a brief overview to frame the guiding principle.
  • How?  Describes strategies for acting on this guiding principle, implementing the practice in instructional settings, and using this guiding principle in supporting learners.
  • How to Find Out More?  Provides specific references for underlying research, additional resources, and applications.

Core Practices Overview

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