Model Curriculum for World Languages and Cultures

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      ♦  2020 Learning Standards for World Languages and Cultures

        Virtual meetups for Ohio WORLD LANGUAGE Teachers


♦  HOW DO I FIND?Quick links for finding resources in the model curriculum
♦  ASSESS  - Rubrics for Performance and Proficiency
♦  FAQs - Information about standards and proficiency

Ohio's Learning Standards


  • Philosophy of the Standards

  • Communicative Language Learning

  • Role of Technology

  • Additional Guidance

Learn more

Expectations for Learning


  • Ohio's World Language Standards

  • Can-Do Statements: Communication

  • Can-Do Statements: Culture

  • Standards Alignment Tools

Learn more



Content Elaborations


  • Themes and Topics

  • Essential Questions

  • Proficiency Levels and Targets

  • Course and Unit Design Templates

Learn more

Instruction and Assessment


  • Target Language Use

  • Plan, Teach, Assess Resources

  • Rubrics and IPAs

  • Diverse Learners

Learn more





Instructional Resources


  • Authentic Resources by Language

  • Technology Resources

  • Proficiency Samples

  • Instructional Videos and Lessons

Learn more

Career Connections


  • Career Videos for World Languages

  • College and Career Connections

  • Study Abroad

  • 21st Century Skills World Languages

Learn more

Learn More About the Model Curriculum Components

Introduction to the Learning Standards

Guidance for Implementing Ohio’s Learning Standards for K-12 World Languages
This section provides information to explain the nature of our proficiency-based learning standards and how they should be used to guide instruction. Topics include an overview of the standards, the importance of communicative language learning, proficiency, assessment, and other relevant topics for world language educators.

Comparison Charts of Ohio's Current and Former Learning Standards
These charts compare Ohio's Learning Standards for K-12 World Languages (2012) with the Academic Content Standards: K-12 Foreign Languages (2003).

Glossary of World Language Academic Terms
These are explanations of the terminology used in the learning standards, in the model curriculum, and in instructional practices in the world language classroom.

Model Curriculum Development Committee Members
This is an explanation of the duties of the twenty-one Ohio teachers worked with the Ohio Department of Education to develop the World Languages Model Curriculum.

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Expectations for Learning
Expectations for learning specify what students should know and be able to do as they strive to achieve learning goals.  These statements provide guidance for what counts as progress and what students can do to demonstrate their language proficiency.

NCSSFL- ACTFL Can-Do Statements for Communication (2017)
These performance statements serve as a self-assessment tool for language learners to see what they “can do” with the language in interpretive, interpersonal and presentational communication. Each set of statements aligns to the ACTFL proficiency levels and performance descriptors for Novice Low through Advanced Low levels. Each list is color-coded based on proficiency levels: Novice (blue); Intermediate (green); Advanced (orange). These Can-Do statements are a revision of the NCSSFL-ACTFL 2013 Can-Do Statements.
For language learners: The statements provide an autonomous way to set goals and to chart their growth in proficiency. The statements are in student-friendly language that makes it easy for students to understand what the expectations are for each level of proficiency. Students may also personalize the example Can-Do statements to fit their goals. Students should be able to provide evidence either electronically or in a hard copy that supports their self-assessment selections.
For teachers: The statements serve as predictors of proficiency growth and can drive instruction by providing learning targets for curriculum and unit design. Teachers can also personalize the examples under each statement for a specific curriculum. Teachers can post the statements to show students the targets for the daily lessons and how these targets relate to the unit goals.
For administrators, parents, and other stakeholders: The Can-Do Statements provide concrete examples that explain what students should know and be able to do at each proficiency level.

NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements for Intercultural Communicative Competence (ICC) and Reflection Tool
Teachers must provide opportunities for learners to experience language and culture together and must recognize that language and culture are inseparable. This requires almost exclusive use of the target language.
This may be especially challenging at the early stages of language learning when students’ linguistic skills are limited. However, as language proficiency grows, so will intercultural competence. Just as teachers scaffold language to meet the needs of their learners, teachers also can scaffold the level of cultural competence that students are required to demonstrate. Students will start with knowledge of products and practices (the What? and the How?) which they can then apply to aid in the understanding of perspectives (the Why?).
Similar to the communication Can-Do statements, the intercultural Can-Do statements are a self-assessment tool for language learners to determine their intercultural competence. This means that learners show their ability to use the language and behave appropriately in cultural contexts. Levels of intercultural competency are divided into Novice (blue), Intermediate (green) and Advanced (orange), without sublevels. The accompanying Reflection Tool provides scenarios for intercultural reflection in the classroom in the target language, and deeper reflection outside of the classroom in English.

Standards Alignment Tool for Communication and Cultures
The standards alignment tool is a table that aligns the 2013 NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do statements, the World Language Standards and the ACTFL proficiency guidelines for each proficiency level. It is a useful tool to show how to design curriculum, units or lessons for a specific level of learners.

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Content Elaborations
Content elaborations are concepts and ideas that extend the learning standards and bring more clarity and richness to the content that students will be learning.

Themes, Topics and Essential Questions, Aligned to Proficiency Levels
Teachers can use these eight global themes to guide instruction and create curriculum that is aligned from level 1 through AP level:  Personal and Public Identities; Families and Communities; Beauty and Aesthetics; Global Issues and Challenges; Interdisciplinary/STEM; Contemporary Life; Communications and Media; and Career Connections.
Teachers can use the themes to determine the appropriate content, vocabulary or structures that will fit with the theme or topic that they choose. These themes align closely with the Advanced Placement themes and include related topics and essential questions that require students to not only gain content knowledge, but also challenge them to increase their critical thinking skills.
The topics included are suggestions of how to adapt each theme to the appropriate proficiency level.  Teachers create the appropriate essential question that will drive their instruction for each topic.  For example, if the topic is “Food,” the teacher could choose the essential question, “Are my food choices healthy?”  This food unit might focus on comparing a student’s diet to the food pyramid.  Choosing another essential question, “How do my food choices compare to those of a teenager in my target culture?” would change the focus of instruction to a comparison of foods between our culture and another.  Sharing the essential question in advance with the students will also help the student focus on the content of instruction.

Proficiency Targets
These research-based recommendations are designed to provide local schools and districts with the informed guidance needed to set rigorous yet attainable proficiency targets for their language students. In no way should they be interpreted as being state mandated. District decision-makers ultimately must consider the nature of their programs and establish targets that challenge learners yet remain obtainable given local constraints. Schools and districts may also want to consider the differentiation of targets to meet the needs of all types of learners.

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Instructional Strategies and Assessment Tools
This section of the Model Curriculum provides suggestions and resources for a variety of instructional strategies that can be modified for many languages and levels. Resources include: Backward Design of units and lessons; sample units and IPAs; strategies for using the target language; assessment guidance and rubrics for both spoken languages and ASL; strategies for teaching across the modes of interpretive, interpersonal and presentational communication; strategies for diverse learners and heritage speakers; and a How to? page with additional resources, such as using comprehensible input, incorporating technology, teaching vocabulary, and using the textbook as a resource.

Course and Curriculum Design Tool
This is a Backward Design template to help teachers design a year-long, standards-based course or curriculum.

Unit Design Tool
This is a sample template that explains how teachers can incorporate all the components of the model curriculum into a cohesive unit.

Unit Samples Aligned to Proficiency Level and to Themes
This section provides access to sample units that incorporate all the components of the model curriculum. These units encompass a variety of proficiency levels, themes and languages. All samples are written in English to allow teachers to modify the unit by language or proficiency level. Teachers can filter the sample units by theme or proficiency level.
Each unit includes: alignment to the standards; proficiency levels; essential questions and a communicative context; a summative Integrated Performance Assessment (IPA); Can-Do statements; authentic resources and instructional strategies; formative assessments;  and optional connections such as careers, technology and 21st Century skills.

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Instructional And Authentic Resources

Lists of Authentic Resources
To truly assess proficiency, teachers need to give students opportunities to use their language in authentic, real-world situations. When textbook resources are simplified or written specifically for language learners, they are not a valid tool for assessing student performance toward proficiency. This section of the Model Curriculum provides an extensive list of authentic audio, video and print resources (i.e., resources that are created by native speakers for native speakers) for teachers to use with their students.
Teachers can filter each list for their specific language (Arabic, American Sign Language, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Latin/Greek, Russian, Spanish). Within the list, the resources are categorized into the eight themes found under Content Elaborations and then sub-divided into specific topics related to that theme. Each resource has a short explanation as to the content of the site and suggestions for how teachers can use it with their learners.

Strategies for Locating Resources
This document provides guidance for finding additional authentic and instructional resources on the internet.

Technology and Digital Learning Guidance
This document provides guidance for Ohio schools and districts considering digital or blended world language courses and commercially available language-learning products.

Classroom Portals with Sample Video Lessons
In this section there are links to sample lesson plans and instructional strategies and videos. The Annenberg website includes lesson plans and instructional strategies for world language teachers, as well as links to French, Spanish, and ESL video series. The STARTALK website provides resources on curriculum design, instructional materials, assessment tools, and useful links. Although the STARTALK site is designed for critical languages, materials are relevant and usable by any world language teacher.

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Career Connections

In this section teachers and students will find resources and strategies for incorporating college and career connections into their curriculum. There are videos from Ohio companies highlighting world language connections, with accompanying worksheets for middle school and high school; sample lessons that incorporate an authentic career connection; information on the Seal of Biliteracy; study abroad opportunities for teachers and students; links to the 21st Century Skills Map for World Languages and; and a list of careers enhanced by being able to speak another language.

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Last Modified: 11/10/2022 8:41:28 AM

Pursuant to ORC 3301.079 (B) (3) and 3313.60, it is the responsibility of Ohio's local boards of education to vet and approve curriculum and educational materials for use in the public schools within their district. The use of any materials posted or linked to on the Ohio Department of Education website, including materials within Ohio’s Learning Standards or Appendices or any state model curricula or other educational resource material, is entirely up to the discretion of each local board of education.