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Archived Information

Foreign Language Curriculum Frameworks

The Content Of Foreign Languages: Strands And Learning Standards

The Strands (Communication, Cultures, Comparisons, Connections, and Communities) describe the overall content of teaching, learning, and assessment in foreign languages. Each Strand is introduced by an essay, and elaborated into Learning Standards and Learning Standard Components. Balanced programs are designed to include the content of all these Strands.

The Learning Standards apply to PreK-12 programs and define what all students should know and be able to do as a result of their study of foreign languages, from preschool through grade 12.

The Learning Standards are further articulated into Learning Standard Components, which describe what students should know and be able to do at various stages of their language study.

Sample Grade Span Equivalents

  • Stage 1: PreK-4 in a PreK-12 sequence; grades 6-8 in a grade 6-12 sequence; grades 9-10 in a grade 9-12 sequence; or the first two years of a high school sequential program
  • Stage 2: Grades 5-8 in a PreK-12 sequence; grades 9-10 in a grade 6-12 sequence; or grades 11-12 in a grade 9 -12 sequence
  • Stage 3: Grades 9-10 in a PreK-12 sequence; or grades 11-12 in a grade 6-12 sequence
  • Stage 4: Grades 11-12 in a PreK-12 sequence

Connections to other Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks

The Learning Standards in the Foreign Languages Curriculum Framework are designed to complement those in the English Language Arts, History and Social Science, and Arts Curriculum Frameworks. Teachers of foreign languages should consult these other frameworks when they design curricula that deal with:

  • the history and use of language, literary genres and conventions, literary criticism, and writing, research, and revision processes (English Language Arts Curriculum Framework);
  • history, geography, civics and government, and economics of the countries and cultures studied in foreign language classes (History and Social Science Curriculum Framework);
  • the history, analysis, criticism, and practice of dance, music, theatre, and visual arts (Arts Curriculum Framework).

Foreign language teachers should consult the Science, Technology and Mathematics, and Health Frameworks when designing curricula dealing with those fields.

Organization: In this section of the framework, the standards are organized by Strands. In Appendices D, E, F, and G the standards organized by proficiency stages 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Strands Learning Strands

Communication

Students use the skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

LEARNING STANDARD 1. Students of modern languages will converse in a language other than English to provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, and exchange opinions. Students of classical languages will engage in simple oral exchanges and will develop reading skills with discussions of texts conducted in English.

LEARNING STANDARD 2. Students will understand and interpret ideas and information written or spoken in a language other than English. In classical language study, discussion will be conducted in English.

LEARNING STANDARD 3. Students of modern languages will write and speak in a language other than English to present information, concepts, and ideas on a variety of topics. Presentations in classical language classes will usually take the form of speaking or writing in English.

Cultures

Students gain knowledge and understanding of other cultures.

LEARNING STANDARD 4. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the traditions, perspectives, practices, and products of the culture studied, including human commonalities as reflected in history, literature, and the visual and performing arts. In classical language study, discussion and writing will be in English.

Comparisons

Students develop insight into the nature of language and culture by comparing their own language and culture with another.

LEARNING STANDARD 5. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the nature of language through comparison of the language studied and their own. In classical language study, discussion and writing will be in English.

LEARNING STANDARD 6. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the concept of culture through comparison of the target culture and their own. In classical language study, discussion and writing will be in English.

Connections

Students make connections with other subject areas and acquire information.

LEARNING STANDARD 7. Students of modern and classical languages will use the target language to reinforce and expand their knowledge of other disciplines and to acquire new information and knowledge. In classical language study, discussion and presentations will be in English.

Communities

Students participate in communities at home and around the world in other languages.

LEARNING STANDARD 8. Students will use languages other than English within and beyond the school setting. Students of classical languages will recognize elements of classical languages and ancient cultures in the world around them, and they will share insights derived from their study of classical languages with others within and beyond the classroom setting.




Last Updated: January 1, 1999
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