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Download Two-Page Summary of the World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages

World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages

COMMUNICATION

Communicate effectively in more than one language in order to function in a variety of situations and for multiple purposes
  • Interpersonal Communication: Learners interact and negotiate meaning in spoken, signed, or written conversations to share information, reactions, feelings, and opinions.
  • Interpretive Communication: Learners understand, interpret, and analyze what is heard, read, or viewed on a variety of topics.
  • Presentational Communication: Learners present information, concepts, and ideas to inform, explain, persuade, and narrate on a variety of topics using appropriate media and adapting to various audiences of listeners, readers, or viewers.

CULTURES

Interact with cultural competence and understanding
  • Relating Cultural Practices to Perspectives: Learners use the language to investigate, explain, and reflect on the relationship between the practices and perspectives of the cultures studied.
  • Relating Cultural Products to Perspectives: Learners use the language to investigate, explain, and reflect on the relationship between the products and perspectives of the cultures studied.

CONNECTIONS

Connect with other disciplines and acquire information and diverse perspectives in order to use the language to function in academic and career-related situations
  • Making Connections: Learners build, reinforce, and expand their knowledge of other disciplines while using the language to develop critical thinking and to solve problems creatively.
  • Acquiring Information and Diverse Perspectives: Learners access and evaluate information and diverse perspectives that are available through the language and its cultures.

COMPARISONS

Develop insight into the nature of language and culture in order to interact with cultural competence
  • Language Comparisons: Learners use the language to investigate, explain, and reflect on the nature of language through comparisons of the language studied and their own.
  • Cultural Comparisons: Learners use the language to investigate, explain, and reflect on the concept of culture through comparisons of the cultures studied and their own.

COMMUNITIES

Communicate and interact with cultural competence in order to participate in multilingual communities at home and around the world
  • School and Global Communities: Learners use the language both within and beyond the classroom to interact and collaborate in their community and the globalized world.
  • Lifelong Learning: Learners set goals and reflect on their progress in using languages for enjoyment, enrichment, and advancement.

Statement of Philosophy

Language and communication are at the heart of the human experience. The United States must educate students who are linguistically and culturally equipped to communicate successfully in a pluralistic American society and abroad. This imperative envisions a future in which ALL students will develop and maintain proficiency in English and at least one other language, modern or classical. Children who come to school from non-English backgrounds should also have opportunities to develop further proficiencies in their first language.

Read "A Decade of Foreign Language Standards: Impact, Influence, and Future Directions." (PDF) | Survey Results (PDF)

The National Standards Collaborative Board is a collaborative effort of the American Association of Teachers of Arabic, American Association of Teachers of French, American Association of Teachers of German, American Association of Teachers of Italian, American Association of Teachers of Japanese, American Association of Teachers of Korean, American Association of Teachers of Modern Greek, American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, American Classical League, American Council of Teachers of Russian, American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, American Sign Language Teachers Association, Chinese Language Association of Secondary-Elementary Schools, Chinese Language Teachers Association, Modern Language Association, National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages, and National Standards Task Force for Hindi.

Original 1996 National Standards Executive Summary (PDF)