ERIC Number: ED438724
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998
Reference Count: N/A
The Impact on Higher Education of Standards for Foreign Language Learning: Preparing for the 21st Century. ACTFL White Paper.
The emergence of uniform standards for foreign language learning at the elementary and secondary level will soon substantially affect the teaching and learning of foreign languages at the post-secondary level. This groundswell for some sort of standard pre-dates the establishment of the standards themselves. It has become common for students who have years of foreign language coursework in high school to still have to begin in college at the introductory level. There is growing pressure for high schools and colleges to cooperate in order to place some students directly into intermediate or higher level university courses directly from high school. Rather than resist the standards movement that has been so widely embraced for pre-college level education, it is better by far to consider why the standards have struck such a responsive chord among K-12 educators and parents, and to work with these people to interweave the curricula at all levels in ways that make sense for the diverse body of students. Conflicts between the sensibilities of the "proficiency" people in the K-12 community and the "literary" people at the university level need to be addressed, as well as the concerns about grammar that university level instructors have about entering college students. The root of the problem is that the university curriculum has not changed, remaining relatively literature-focused and academic, while the pre-college method of instruction has become much more practice and activity oriented. The two need to come closer together and accept the links between these different but complementary approaches. (KFT)
Descriptors: Academic Standards, Articulation (Education), Elementary Secondary Education, Grammar, Higher Education, Language Proficiency, Literature, National Standards, Second Language Instruction, Second Language Learning, Teaching Methods
American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, 6 Executive Plaza, Yonkers, NY 10701. Tel: 914-963-8830. For full text: http://www.actfl.org/public/articles/Fall1998-2.pdf.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, Yonkers, NY.
Identifiers: National Standards for Foreign Language Learning