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World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages to be Unveiled at ACTFL Annual Convention in San Antonio, TX

CONTACT: Marty Abbott

Alexandria, VA—The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) in conjunction with its partner organizations of the Standards Collaborative Board, will introduce the newly-revised World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages at its upcoming annual Convention and World Language Expo in San Antonio, TX.

First published in 1996 as the Standards for Foreign Language Learning, the World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages represent an unprecedented consensus among educators, business leaders, government, and the community on the definition and role of language instruction in American education. This document has been used by teachers, administrators, and curriculum developers at both state and local levels to begin to improve foreign language education in our nation's schools. In addition, they have provided the basis for national initiatives such as standards for teacher education programs, as well as for National Board Certification.

ACTFL Director of Education, Paul Sandrock, says, “With the emphasis in every discipline on college and career readiness, these new Standards for learning languages directly lead development of stronger literacy for all learners, K-16, with the added value of world-readiness.  Language learners deal with using multiple strategies to make meaning and express themselves, expanding their literacy strategies while also learning to communicate and interact with and within other cultures.”

A session devoted to the newly revised Standards, titled: World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages: Updating Standards for Specific Languages, will be held on Saturday, November 22, 2014 from 10 am to 11 am and presented by members of the Standards Collaborative Board. The session will focus on the key shifts in the revised version, the changes in the standards for the 14 specific languages already based on the national standards and the additional languages that are under development, and providing feedback on progress indicators, learning scenarios, and other elements helpful for implementing the revised standards.

According to Sandrock, “These refreshed Standards are familiar in their organization around the original five goal areas, but the descriptors point to what is new, identifying the critical thinking skills and creativity that one needs to acquire a new language.” Sandrock goes on to say, “The 21st century learner faces a future of work that increasingly requires collaboration and communication with people from other cultures, whether on a local assembly line or in a boardroom across the globe. What better preparation than to experience firsthand how language functions and how cultures influence each other? That is the language classroom or virtual learning environment envisioned by these new Standards.”

View more information about the Standards.

The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) is the national association for language education professionals from all levels of instruction and representing all languages. With more than 12,300 active members, ACTFL provides innovative professional development opportunities, acclaimed training and certification programs, and widely cited books, publications, scholarly journals, research studies and language education resources, including Foreign Language Annals and The Language Educator magazine. As part of its mission and vision, the organization 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.

Thursday, November 13, 2014