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Supporting the Study of World Languages and Computer Science
ACTFL advocates the study of both world languages and computer science. Both are essential skills in a world that is connected across borders and through technology. Both provide specific skills and a way of thinking; however, the perspectives and skills gained are not equivalent.
What is a World Language?
A world language is a form of communication, essential to the culture of a community, with a system of sounds, letters, symbols, and/or signs recognized and utilized by humans. A world language fulfills all the following criteria, distinguishing it from other forms of communication:
Demonstrating Educator Effectiveness and Documenting Student Growth Position Statement
The educator is the catalyst for developing learners’ language proficiency and global competence so that learners are prepared to interact and communicate successfully in the global community.
Global Competence Position Statement
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.
Languages as a Core Component of Education for All Students
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.
ACTFL supports collaborative research and publication because studies that are conducted across levels, languages and disciplines contribute to the development of theory and practice in Foreign Language Education. Jointly authored publications should be valued in decisions measuring scholarly production such as merit, tenure and promotion.
Teacher Recruitment and Retention
Recent studies indicate a current and prospective shortage of language teachers. The recruitment and retention of a highly qualified teaching force is essential. Recognizing the reported 50% attrition rate of teachers new to the profession, we support high quality professional development for experienced teachers and mentoring services for new teachers.
General Principles of Language Learning
As part of its mission and vision, the ACTFL provides guidance to the profession and to the general public regarding issues, policies, and best practices related to the teaching and learning of languages and cultures. ACTFL is a leading national voice among language educators and administrators and is guided by a responsibility to set standards and expectations that will result in high quality language programs.
Early Language Learning
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.