Print This

position statements

ACTFL strongly recommends that a language educator be responsible for the planning, instruction, assessment, and facilitation of any language course, leveraging technology to support language learning. Language instruction is best guided by language educators rather than solely delivered via a computer program or by a non-content specialist.

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.

A computer coding course is not equivalent to a world language course for the following reasons:

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:

A world language is...

Recognizing the current contentious climate in the U.S., the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) believes it is uniquely positioned to help bridge the ideological gaps that divide our nation. We stand with our more than 13,000 members in asserting strongly that diversity and intercultural competence are qualities that must be embraced in the U.S. and throughout the world.

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. Student growth and educator effectiveness are intrinsically connected. The purpose of demonstrating student growth is to show learners’ progress toward higher levels of proficiency while using language in a culturally appropriate manner.

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.

Coauthorship - 07/30/2012
  1. The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages 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.
  2. Jointly authored publications should be valued in decisions measuring scholarly production such as merit, tenure and promotion.

ACTFL and its members are committed to developing and maintaining a teaching and learning environment that reflects the broad diversity of American society. We welcome teachers and students from diverse cultural, linguistic, and socio-economic backgrounds to language programs.  We believe that all children should have the opportunity to learn other languages and support full access for all students to language programs.  In this effort, ACTFL and its member organizations

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. This early language learning experience not only helps to develop native-like pronunciation but also promotes higher levels of proficiency if the student continues in a well-articulated sequence of language learning.

Pages