Online Resources: Frequently Asked Questions
How have standards been developed for foreign or "world" languages? Where can I get more information?
Development of national and state standards has been the result of a convergence of events in the education reform movement in the United States and the work of a great many people in the field of foreign language education and other disciplines. The standards have resulted in improvements in professional development, curricula, and program design. Resulting publications and other resources have also given teachers, administrators, and policymakers new tools to work with as they seek to provide a quality education for all children.
At the national level, an 11-member task force representing a variety of languages, levels of instruction, program models, and geographic regions undertook the task of defining content standards—what students should know and be able to do—in foreign language education. First published in 1996, Standards for Foreign Language Learning: Preparing for the 21st Century represented a consensus among educators, business leaders, government, and the community on the definition and role of foreign language instruction in American education. The latest version of the standards, Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century, was published in 1999 and incorporates into the 1996 document information about applying the standards to specific languages.