e-Learning for Educators
Course Information



The Road to Proficiency for World Languages
 
Course Description
    

As language is constantly changing, so must we as world language educators. This course is designed to help teachers increase effectiveness in the classroom. Teachers will build their knowledge of tools that students can use for reflection and goal-setting, as well as tools that the teacher can use for the same purpose. World language teachers will also become more familiar with proficiency guidelines and Can-Do statements that have become a driving force for language learning across the nation.

 
Course Syllabus
    

Overview

As language is constantly changing, so must we as world language educators. This course is designed to help teachers increase effectiveness in the classroom. Teachers will build their knowledge of tools that students can use for reflection and goal-setting, as well as tools that the teacher can use for the same purpose. World language teachers will also become more familiar with proficiency guidelines and Can-Do statements that have become a driving force for language learning across the nation.

By the end of this course, participants will understand:

1. develop an understanding of ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines for language learners,
2. set realistic objectives and expectations for different levels of proficiency, and
3. develop an understanding of the need for language proficiency.
4. recognize best practices in world language instruction and the effects on student learning,
5. determine strengths and weaknesses in teaching style, and 
6. employ appropriate strategies in the classroom.
7. understand the different levels and interpretive listening and reading proficiency in world languages, and 
8. apply interpretive listening and reading proficiency guidelines in the classroom.
9. understand the different levels of proficiency in interpersonal and presentational speaking and writing, and
10. apply the proficiency guidelines for speaking and writing in their classroom.
11. describe LinguaFolio© and its use in the classroom,
12. understand the “I can” statements as standards, and  
13. learn ways that “I can” statements can assist students in becoming more proficient.
14. understand the TELL Framework,
15. explore the TELL Tools Suite Resources, and
16. assess current strengths, as well as identify areas where they can grow.

Course Organization
This course includes several different activity components, all of which are described below. During each session, you will participate in a unique collection of these activity components, depending on the particular focus of that session.

Read
When you see this icon you will be reading relevant articles, resources, and instructional materials that will help inform your online course development process.

Activities
When you see this icon you will be completing activity-based curriculum and inputting various components of your course content into course project.

Discuss
When you see this icon you will be using the online discussion board to share ideas, resources, and thoughtful conversation with your fellow course participants and facilitator.
Prerequisites
This professional development course is designed for K-12 teachers and administrators.  Participants are expected to have regular access to computers.  Although not a requirement, high speed Internet access definitely enhances the online experience.  Participants should be proficient with using email, browsing the Internet and navigating through computer files.  Access to Microsoft Office is recommended.
Format and Requirements
This workshop is divided into six one-week sessions which each include readings, activities, and an online discussion among workshop participants. The time necesaary to complete each session is estimated to be two to four hours.

The outline for the workshop is as follows:
Session One The Move Toward Proficiency
Session Two 21st Century Effective Language Learning
Session Three What is Proficiency and How Does it Look in Interpretive Listening and Reading?
Session Four What is Proficiency and How Does it Look in Interpersonal and Presentational Speaking and Writing?
Session Five LinguaFolio©: A Way to Assess Students’ Proficiency in the Classroom
Session Six TELL Project:  A Way to Assess Teacher Effectiveness for Language Learning in the Classroom
Session One: The Move Toward Proficiency
Language proficiency is a tool that can help build a communication bridge between local and global communities as we strive to find our place in the global society of today. Immigration around the world is changing the demographics of countries and individuals need to have the ability to use language and understand cultures across geographic boundaries in order to cultivate positive relations with future clients, allies and neighbors. Our students need to develop global competency in order to compete and cooperate in the interconnected world of the 21st century and beyond, allowing them to compete in the world marketplace.

The first step in developing global competency may well be learning another language. This does not entail learning vocabulary lists or isolated grammatical concepts. It is no longer sufficient for a student to spend a semester or a year of class time studying a language only to be able to read and write and possibly utilize a few words or expressions.   Teachers and students must begin to focus on proficiency, showing what one can do with the language not the language that one knows. In order to accomplish this goal, educators must understand the characteristics of the proficiency levels as well as learning and reinforcement activities that promote real-world, meaningful communication.

Many schools systems have discovered that to develop true language proficiency in our students, it is advantageous to begin much earlier than middle school or high school. Throughout the nation, there has been an impressive growth of immersion schools. In the early grade levels, the content is taught 50% in the target language and 50% in the native language. This consistent exposure and reliance on the target language is producing students who are better prepared to communicate with native speakers in a meaningful manner.

For the benefit of all language teachers, world language organizations such as ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) have developed tools that help us to measure a student’s performance based on a standard scale. It does not matter where the student studied, what language they studied or how long they studied, the guidelines remain the same to evaluate their performance with the language.

Session Two: 21st Century Effective Language Learning
Our future in the world will depend on our students’ abilities to interact with the world community both inside and outside our borders.  To confront this challenge we must strengthen and increase world language skills and cultural awareness in our students.  In order to do this, we must realize that effective language learning has changed drastically in the past few years.  We must face the changes that have taken place and adjust our instruction and therefore, the way that students learn.  It is imperative to effectively utilize the time in the classroom working toward proficiency in real-world situations.

Session Three: What is Proficiency and How Does it Look in Interpretive Listening and Reading?
As the world changes, so must world language teaching and learning.  In this session, participants will have the opportunity to explore nationally adopted proficiency guidelines, particularly in listening and reading.

Session Four: What is Proficiency and How Does it Look in Interpersonal and Presentational Speaking and Writing?
As the world changes, so must world language teaching and learning. In this session, participants will have the opportunity to explore nationally accepted proficiency guidelines, particularly in speaking and writing

Session Five: LinguaFolio©: A Way to Assess Students’ Proficiency in the Classroom
In this session participants will review the theory and practice of portfolio assessment as it relates to student proficiency. LinguaFolio© is a holistic portfolio approach of formative assessment aligned with the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines.  Through LinguaFolio©,  participants will have the opportunity to explore reflective and autonomous language learning as well as cultural interactions through the use of  self-assessment and goal setting.

Session Six: TELL Project:  A Way to Assess Teacher Effectiveness for Language Learning in the Classroom
In this session, participants will review the theory and practice of the TELL Project (Teacher Effectiveness for Language Learning) which is a collection of products and processes that world language educators can use to enhance their effectiveness in the classroom.
The TELL Project stresses that student achievement is influenced more by an effective teacher than any other factor in learning a language.  Therefore, participants will have the opportunity to explore the reflective and autonomous framework of this project and the tools offered to enhance teacher practices.

Assessment
Participants will be evaluated weekly on the frequency and quality of their participation in the discussion forum. Participants are required to post a minimum of one substantial original posting each session in response to the discussion prompt for that session. They are also to read all original messages by course participants and enough additional responses to make a total of 50% of the messages posted for that session. Participants are to respond thoughtfully to a minimum of two colleagues' original postings each session. Postings are evaluated on their relevance, demonstrated understanding of course concepts, examples cited and overall quality.

Course Project: 
Participants will complete the course project throughout the course sessions, beginning with Session One.
Coure Project Rubric

Certificate of Completion
Upon successful completion of this course, The Road to Proficiency for World Languages, participants will receive a Certificate of Completion documenting successful completion of the course requirements. Certificates are distributed to each qualifying participant via email shortly after the completion of the course.
Graduate Credit Information

Participants in this course are eligible to receive non-degree graduate credits from either West Virginia University, Marshall University or Concord University. Credits will be awarded at the end of the semester in which the course occurs. Additional information is available on the course News/Welcome Page.

Content and Technology Standards

This workshop, The Road to Proficiency for World Languages, will help participants meet the ISTE Educational Technology Standards and Performance Indicators for All Teachers (http://edtechleaders.org/documents/NETSAdminTeachers.pdf), especially Standards II, III, IV, and V.For more information about Technology Integration visit: http://www.iste.org

In addition, participants will identify specific WV Content Standards and Objectives (http://wvde.state.wv.us/csos/) as they engage in course content.

About this Course

This workshop was developed for the West Virginia Department of Education (http://wvde.state.wv.us) under the guidance of the EdTech Leaders Online (http://edtechleaders.org) at Education Development Center. EdTech Leaders Online provides capacity building, training, and online courses for school districts, state departments of education, and colleges and universities.

Original design (before format modifications) by EdTech Leaders Online (http://www.edtechleaders.org), a project of Education Development Center, Inc, © 2007.  All rights reserved.