World Languages

The ability to speak another language is a powerful asset. This is true for individuals and for society.  

At the Center for Applied Linguistics, we are committed to seeing teaching and learning thrive in all languages for learners at every level—from young children to adults.  

Our work spans the globe. Since 1959, we have been a trusted partner helping to promote language teaching and learning through our work with institutions, programs, and teachers.  Our vision is to help programs and educators succeed by providing the highest quality resources, research, and support.   

Working with all types of world language programs, CAL’s experts create practical, effective solutions that are customized to local needs. We create assessments, design interactive professional development, and conduct research and evaluations.  

Through our world language services and research activities, CAL is committed to supporting language learning and cultural understanding in the U.S. and around the world.  

CAL’s World Languages Team Can Help You Achieve Your Goals  

CAL offers virtual, in-person, and hybrid models of professional development, technical assistance, assessment support, and tailored services for educators of world languages at all levels of instruction. 

We provide the following services: 

  • program evaluation; 
  • needs assessment; 
  • program design services; 
  • curriculum review; 
  • assessment development; 
  • review of local language assessments, rubrics, and rater training materials;  
  • professional development; and  
  • research studies. 

Our services are tailored for your target audience: for teachers, administrators, schools, districts, and/or other institutions that are planning or implementing programs for language learners. 

CAL’s World Languages team is pleased to offer research solutions resulting in written reports and presentations based on quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methodologies. Our research capacities include literature reviews, classroom observations, focus groups, interviews, surveys, review of extant program data, and proficiency testing. 

Heritage Language Education 

Heritage language learners are students with a cultural or familial relationship to a language. As the U.S. faces a shortage of adults with proficiency in languages other than English, the languages spoken in communities across the United States can be harnessed and developed to address this shortage. Spanish, Chinese, Hindi, Vietnamese, Arabic, and Korean count among the largest language groups most commonly spoken in the home. World language enrollment in U.S. schools does not fully reflect the numbers of heritage language communities in the country and heritage language speakers in schools. However, the pool of students who enter schools with some degree of proficiency in another language presents a tremendous resource if they can continue to develop their language skills.  

CAL is an advocate for heritage language learning because we believe students’ language and cultural backgrounds are a powerful asset. Through our work with partner institutions, we advocate and develop resources for heritage language programs and educators, and conduct research about best practices for working with this population.

Projects

Massachusetts Heritage Languages Framework Study
Massachusetts Heritage Languages Framework Study

Funder: Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Massachusetts World Languages Framework Implementation Series
Massachusetts World Languages Framework Implementation Series

Funder: Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Assessment and Evaluation Language Resource Center (AELRC)
Assessment and Evaluation Language Resource Center (AELRC)

Funder: U.S. Department of Education

Computerized Oral Proficiency Instrument (COPI) Test Administration Project
Computerized Oral Proficiency Instrument (COPI) Test Administration Project

Funder: U.S. Department of Education, International Research and Studies Program

Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) – Evaluation of Study Abroad Programs
Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) – Evaluation of Study Abroad Programs

Funder: The Council on International Educational Exchange

Djibouti Early Grade Reading Activity (DEGRA)
Djibouti Early Grade Reading Activity (DEGRA)

Funder: United States Agency for International Development, via subcontract from Family Health International (FHI360)

English for Heritage Language Speakers (EHLS)
English for Heritage Language Speakers (EHLS)

Funder: U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Language and National Security Education Office, National Security Education Program

English Language Training for International Teachers of English
English Language Training for International Teachers of English

Funder: University of Maryland, College Park

Ghana – Improved Quality and Access to Basic Education
Ghana – Improved Quality and Access to Basic Education

Funder: U.S. Agency for International Development, via subcontract from the Education Development Center

Massachusetts World Language Standards Focus Group and Implementation Services
Massachusetts World Language Standards Focus Group and Implementation Services

Funder: Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Massachusetts World Language Standards Update
Massachusetts World Language Standards Update

Funder: Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

National Capital Language Resource Center (NCLRC)
National Capital Language Resource Center (NCLRC)

Funder: U.S. Department of Education, International Research and Studies Program, via subcontract from Georgetown University

National K-12 Foreign Language Survey
National K-12 Foreign Language Survey

Funder: U.S. Department of Education, International Research and Studies Program

Peace Corps TEFL Certificate Validation
Peace Corps TEFL Certificate Validation

Funder: Peace Corps

Promoting Oral Proficiency Gain in Study Abroad Homestay Placements
Promoting Oral Proficiency Gain in Study Abroad Homestay Placements

Funder: U.S. Department of Education

Saudi Aramco English Language Training Program Evaluation
Saudi Aramco English Language Training Program Evaluation

Funder: Aramco Services Company

STARTALK
STARTALK

Funder: U.S. Department of Defense, via subcontract from the University of Maryland, National Foreign Language Center

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News and Resources

CAL Authors Research on Less Commonly Taught Languages & Needs for K-12 Instructors
CAL Tapped to Develop Career-Focused Resources for STARTALK Initiative
CAL Releases Actionable World Language Resources & Supplements
CAL Launches Updated Assessment Resources for World Language and Heritage Language Teachers
In Memoriam: Olga Kagan
Handbook of Heritage, Community, and Native American Languages in the United States: Research, Policy, and Educational Practice
Handbook of Heritage, Community, and Native American Languages in the United States: Research, Policy, and Educational Practice

Edited by Terrence G. Wiley, Joy Kreeft Peyton, Donna Christian, Sarah Catherine K. Moore, Na Liu
Published by Routledge and the Center for Applied Linguistics

Heritage Language Education: A New Field Emerging
Heritage Language Education: A New Field Emerging

Edited by Donna Brinton, Olga Kagan, Susan Bauckus
Published by Routledge

Teaching and Assessing EIL in Local Contexts Around the World
Teaching and Assessing EIL in Local Contexts Around the World

Sandra Lee McKay and James Dean Brown
Published by Routledge

Using a Process-based Approach to Evaluate the Peace Corps TEFL Certificate Program – A CAL Commentary
Using a Process-based Approach to Evaluate the Peace Corps TEFL Certificate Program – A CAL Commentary

Jing Wei, PhD
November 2018

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