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Facilitated Interdependent Language Learning (FILL): Resources from the Field

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About this CAL Publication

This brief further explores an innovative language learning approach that was first introduced in July 2022 in the CAL publication Facilitated interdependent language learning (FILL) in action: Increasing student autonomy (Aoki, Rhodes, & Welch, 2022). Discussions about FILL with language educators, administrators, and publishers generated a great deal of interest, but a frequently-asked question was, “What resources are available or would lend themselves to a FILL approach?” This brief addresses that important question by describing resources used by early FILL adopters and identifies characteristics of resources that have the potential to support FILL learners and their teachers/facilitators. Assessment options and ways of recognizing proficiency are also considered, as well as possible roles for artificial intelligence (AI) in a FILL environment.

About the Authors

Michele Anciaux Aoki, Ph.D., world languages and international education advocate, is a former world languages program supervisor for the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and international education administrator for Seattle Public Schools, focusing now on heritage and less commonly taught languages.
Nancy C. Rhodes, CAL senior fellow, served as CAL’s director of foreign/world language education for 18 years overseeing research and development projects for K-12 language teaching and assessment, and currently works to reinvigorate early language programs across the country.
Jacqueline Van Houten, Ph.D., intercultural communication consultant and advocate for the Global Seal of Biliteracy, is a former president of ACTFL, NNELL and NCSSFL, and world language supervisor for the Kentucky Department of Education and Jefferson County Public Schools.
Tom Welch, educational consultant, is a former French teacher, high school principal, and state foreign language supervisor at the Kentucky Department of Education. He currently advocates for increased opportunities for learning unbound by traditional limits of time or place.

Special Acknowledgement

Authored by members of the National Council of State Supervisors for Languages (NCSSFL) Neural Network Group (Michele Anciaux Aoki, Nancy C. Rhodes, Jacque Van Houten, and Tom Welch) based on interviews with teachers and students from 2020 to 2023.

About the Publisher

The Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1959. Headquartered in Washington, DC, CAL has earned an international reputation for its contributions to the fields of bilingual and dual-language education, English as a second language, world languages education, language policy, assessment, immigrant and refugee integration, literacy, dialect studies, and the education of linguistically and culturally diverse adults and children. CAL’s mission is to promote language learning and cultural understanding by serving as a trusted resource for research, services, and policy analysis. Through its work, CAL seeks solutions to issues involving language and culture as they relate to access and equity in education and society around the globe.

Read More CAL Publications by the Authors

Facilitated interdependent language learning (FILL) in action: Increasing student autonomy by Michele Anciaux Aoki, Nancy C. Rhodes, and Tom Welch

Student Voices: High Schoolers’ Insights into World Language Learning by Tom Welch and Nancy C. Rhodes

Contact the NCSSFL FILL Team

Educators, explore FILL further by contacting the NCSSFL FILL team at

Contact CAL

Contact the Center for Applied Linguistics at

Suggested Citation

Aoki, M. A., Rhodes, N., Van Houten, J., & Welch, T. (2024). Facilitated Interdependent Language Learning (FILL): Resources from the Field. Center for Applied Linguistics.

© January 2024, Center for Applied Linguistics. All rights reserved. Trademarks and brand names used for software applications and other products referred to in this article are the property of their respective registered and/or common law owners.