Languages Other Than English
The study of world languages is an essential part of education. In the 21st century language classroom, students gain an understanding of two basic aspects of human existence: the nature of communication and the complexity of culture. Students become aware of multiple perspectives and means of expression, which lead to an appreciation of difference and diversity. Further benefits of foreign language study include stronger cognitive development, increased creativity, and divergent thinking. Students who effectively communicate in more than one language, with an appropriate understanding of cultural context, are globally literate and possess the attributes of successful participants in the world community. Communication is the overarching goal of world language instruction. Students should be provided ample opportunities to engage in conversations, to present information to an audience, and to interpret culturally authentic materials in the language of study.
The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) identifies three modes of communication: interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational.
In the interpersonal mode of communication, students engage in direct oral or written communication with others. Examples of this "two-way" communication include but are not limited to conversing face to face, participating in digital discussions and messaging, and exchanging personal letters.
In the interpretive mode of communication, students demonstrate understanding of spoken and written communication within appropriate cultural contexts. Examples of this type of "one-way" reading or listening include but are not limited to comprehension of digital texts as well as print, audio, and audiovisual materials.
In the presentational mode of communication, students present orally or in writing information, concepts, and ideas to an audience of listeners or readers with whom there is no immediate interaction. Examples of this "one-to-many" mode of communication include but are not limited to presenting to a group; creating and posting digital content; or writing reports, compositions, or articles for a magazine or newspaper.