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"Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men."

Col 3:23

Connections Between the Common Core and World Languages

When reviewing the Mathematics and English Language Arts Common Core State Standards, it is clear the majority of the components mirror world languages. Perhaps the level and intensity of the knowledge of the content is not the same, but the intent of the standards certainly is.

For example, a key point in the Mathematics Standards is that not only procedural skill but also conceptual understanding is important. The same is true with the study of languages. It is important that language educators move students from simple to complex language usage as they develop the ability to communicate in authentic contexts, just as one would in the culture in which the language is spoken.

This progression of language development leads to academic, formal language usage. With regard to the English Language Arts Standards, the goals are virtually identical to those of world languages. For example, a key point in English Language Arts is that the standards prepare the learners for “real life experiences at college and in 21st century careers.”

The English Language Arts Common Core Standards mirror the current Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century and the ACTFL Performance Descriptors for Language Learners, which promote a long sequence of language study in grades K–12 so that students have the opportunity to gain a high level of communication ability in a world language in addition to English.

A good demonstration of how world languages connect with the Common Core State Standards is a 2012 document developed by ACTFL entitled, “Alignment of the National Standards for Learning Languages with the Common Core State Standards.”

This directly aligns the English Language Arts Common Core State Standards with the National Standards’ three modes of communication (interpersonal, interpretive, presentational) as well as the ACTFL Proficiency Guideline Levels of Novice, Intermediate, and Advanced.

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