Date Approved

2012

Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department

World Languages

First Advisor

Alfonso Illingworth-Rico

Abstract

Today's global and digital society requires both students and educators to be proficient in foreign languages and technology. The future of the state and nation lies in the hands oftoday's able youths. Students will not only be competing for jobs with fellow classmates, but also with individuals from Asian, Indian, and Latin American countries and they must be well prepared to meet the demands of a 21st century society.

While there are various programs in communities where individuals can learn a foreign language, the most common world language experience occurs during secondary schooling. In 1996 an eleven-member ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) committee created the National Standards for Foreign Language Education through the help of a three year grant from the US Department of Education and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The end result was a document outlining what students should be able to know and do upon completion of a world language course in K -16 education. These national standards tor all world languages are comprised of five different parts, also known as "The Five Cs". They are communication, culture, connections, comparisons, and communities, respectively. While there is no research or statistical data to prove that the national standards increase proficiency, they give students the best opportunity to learn by defining what proficiency-oriented learning opportunities should look like.

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