The Essentials of World Languages, Grades K-12: Effective Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

The Essentials of World Languages, Grades K-12: Effective Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

The Essentials of World Languages, Grades K-12: Effective Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

The Essentials of World Languages, Grades K-12: Effective Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

Synopsis

We live in a global community, and to be a full member of this community often requires speaking more than one language. Educators and policy-makers must ask themselves: What does it mean to view language learning not as an elective but as a necessity for communicating and interacting with people around the world?

Excerpt

If you don't know foreign languages, you don't know anything
about your own.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Thanks to a number of technological advances—ease of travel over vast distances, instantaneous telephone connections, and the Internet—interacting with people from other countries has become commonplace for a great number of us. This unprecedented accessibility to other languages and cultures—whether for social, political, business, governmental, or humanitarian purposes—has created what is now universally referred to as the [global community] and is calling into question our concept of what is [foreign.] Our health is affected by conditions and events in China, Africa, South America, and Britain. Sales representatives, bank employees, and computer technicians who provide us with everyday home and business services may be living in other countries. Furthermore, changing demographics worldwide have increased interaction among individuals who speak a variety of languages on a day-to-day basis, in the home community as well as in the workplace.

Time to Reposition World Languages

In this context, the term foreign language is a misnomer, and use of the term foreign to describe the field of second-language education fails to reflect the interconnectedness of the worlds peoples, their languages, and their cultures. The word foreign also denotes exclusion, isolation . . .

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