Understanding World Language Standards and Indicators
Standards: The Expectations of World Language Learning
Each of the five strands contains several components that are long-term goals for learning. These broad, overarching content-based statements that describe the basic cognitive, affective expectations of students are standards. There are ten standards.
When a particular standard is not reflective of or responsive to an aspect of a specific language, accommodations can be made to create alternative expectations. Notations have been made after certain standards that may need special treatment in order to be applicable to specific language groups.
Indicators: Language Performance Expectations by Level
For each standard, there is an indicator that establishes the level of expectation appropriate for a given performance level. Indicators are not labeled by language courses. Course titles, such as “French Two”, most often represent the level of progression in the district’s world language curriculum and are often insufficient in describing the actual performance of students.
The Nebraska World Language Standards use three performance level indicators: novice, intermediate, and advanced. Each performance level indicator can be further divided into a low, mid, and high range. The definitions of novice, intermediate, and advanced are as follows:
Novice students are beginning to use the language. Their performance is limited to words, phrases, and simple sentences on familiar or highly predictable topics. They may be difficult to understand. Novice listeners understand key words, true aural cognates, and formulaic expressions. Novice writers and speakers can use isolated words and phrases to identify typical cultural elements. They can use resources in the language to make connections to other content areas or to greater language communities by identifying predictable elements of a message, using cognates, and/or using extralinguistic supports. Novice learners identify and describe what they can do in language study using simple words and phrases.
Intermediate students have gaps in knowledge but are able to use the language with an understanding of need and purpose. Intermediate listeners understand the main ideas and supporting details. Speakers can meet practical needs, ask and answer simple questions. Presenters can communicate information and express their own thoughts about familiar topics. Intermediate students can investigate, describe and compare their culture with those of the culture studied. These students can apply simple and concrete language to learning about other content areas and communicating within their greater language communities. They have created their own language goals and are able to articulate, if only in simple language, their personal language journey.
Advanced students are comfortable in using the language to provide details, to reflect, and to elaborate on both concrete and abstract information and ideas. Writers can write routine informal and some formal correspondence using major time frames, paraphrasing, and elaboration. Listeners can understand the main ideas and most details on variety of general interest topics. Readers understand a wide variety of texts characterized by one or more of the following: high level of abstraction, precision or uniqueness of vocabulary; density of information; cultural reference; or complexity of structure. Advanced students can use the language to navigate appropriately in various cultural settings within greater language communities. These students are able to analyze their language learning and to elaborate on their plans for the future.