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From Past to Present

This is actually my third Lincoln life. I lived in Lincoln as a child, return to Lincoln as a college student, and have recently moved back as an adult.

My experience with the World Language Standards has been similar. The standards were adopted in 1997 just as I was leaving to take my first teaching position in Oregon. I have returned to Nebraska at a time when the world language standards are scheduled for their first revision. Twenty years is a long time.

While time has changed some of the practices and beliefs of second language teaching, our core values have not altered. The 2017 World Language Teacher Survey results, the conversation at the Colloquium, and the conversation at the Standards Advisory Council reveal that we are still committed to effective communication, cultural competence, interdisciplinary connections, and language use within the community and using the second language to investigate, explain and reflect on the nature of language. I am inspired by how the Standards Advisory Committee was able, in two short and swelteringly hot days, to synthesize these core values with a clearer and higher level of expectation for student skill, an understanding of strategic thinking skills, and a reflection on the hyper connected world around us. Moving forward, I feel that these standards will reflect a stronger second language acquisition practice.



World Language Standards Revision: Charting a Course for Standards Revision

Eighteen participants from around the state met as the World Language Standards Advisory Council June 4-5 in Lincoln to determine the priorities of world language learning and the course of standards revision.

Participants were asked to define their “essential ingredients” for the world language standards. Groups responded that standards should address effective and culturally appropriate communication, global competency, a growth mindset, and a focus on the application of skills to a variety of settings. The gathering reviewed policies from other states and agencies not specific to language study. Using this information, each small group refined their contributing essential ingredients until a standard became evident. These ideas will go forward to the standards writing team to be used as the guideline for the world language standards.