Exploring California's New World Language Content Standards
Yesterday, I finally got to see the draft copy of world languge content standards for California K-12 public schools. The draft is a pre-publiblication copy, adopted by the State Board of Education in January, 2009. I found that California, as one of the most multilingual and multicultural state in US, is trying very hard addressing the value of learning a foreign language and encouraging students to apply the language in the global communities.
Based on and developed from the ACTFL's 5Cs, the new standards provide benchmarks of progrss in 4 stages of performance. The major change of the new standards is the structure of content standards. In the old standards, at each level, the language goals are categorized at Function, Context, Text Type and Content, while the new standards are separated into five categories: Content, Communication, Culture, Structures and Settings. They will be used as the latest criteria for world language materials in the next adoption cycle.
Correlating Chinese materials with various standards is a tough job, but it's going to be so benifitial to the students! Come check out an example of standard-based materials, I Love Chinese published by Better Chinese. A pdf version of California new standards is available on CLTA's website. Download it, have a look, and share with us how you feel about the new standards!