Around the State

Ryan Wertz and Kathy Shelton, World Language Consultants
Ohio Department of Education

New Ohio Learning Standards for K-12 World Languages and Cultures in the Home Stretch
At the December meeting of the State Board of Education’s Teaching, Leading and Learning Committee, we had the opportunity to present the final draft of the newly revised Learning Standards for K-12 World Languages and Cultures. This draft incorporates the feedback gathered from our stakeholders back in the fall. We were pleased that members of the committee received our comments and the efforts of our advisory and working committees with great positivity. We returned to the TLL Committee’s January meeting to answer some initial questions that they had after taking a month to review the draft standards. At the upcoming February meeting, we are cautiously optimistic that they will vote to recommend the draft document to the full State Board of Education for adoption. Once the new learning standards have been adopted, we will let you know when they have been posted for general public access.

Here are some highlights of the revised learning standards:

    • Two highly integrated goals: Cultures and Communication
    • Clear alignment with the ACTFL proficiency levels from Novice Low to Advanced Low;
    • Stronger focus on the purposeful development of literacy skills;
    • Heightened reliance on the use of authentic resources;
    • Balanced reliance on the use of comprehensible target language input and the elicitation of target language output at all levels of proficiency;
    • Multiple configurations of the learning standards:
      o Novice Low to Novice High Standards for Grades K-6;
      o Novice Low to Novice High Standards for Grades 7-12;
      o Novice High to Intermediate Mid Standards for mid-level language courses;
      o Intermediate Mid to Advanced Low Standards for high-level language courses; and
      o Novice Low to Advanced Low Standards (completely articulated set)
    • Suggested/Optional communicative progress indicators which show how to implement the standards at different proficiency levels and in different classrooms (e.g., elementary FELX/FLES and immersion classrooms, modern language classrooms, classical language classrooms, visual language classrooms, etc.)

Ohio’s Seal of Biliteracy Program Continued to Expand with Class of 2019
Preliminary results gathered through the state’s EMIS data collection system indicate substantial growth in the state’s Seal of Biliteracy program over the past year. Here is an overview of the stats from the recent Class of 2019 in comparison with the initial pilot year results from the Class of 2018:

     Total Seals of Biliteracy in 2019: 901 (540 in 2018)
     Total World Languages in 2019: 18 (10 in 2018)
     Total Participating Districts in 2019: 69 (45 in 2018)
     Total English Learners in 2019: 22 (10 in 2018)

Two-thirds of Ohio’s Seal of Biliteracy recipients in 2019 were females, and one third were males. These percentages were unchanged from 2018. In terms of district typology, 775 seals were awarded to suburban students, 61 were awarded to students from small towns, 53 seals were awarded to urban students, and 4 seals were awarded to rural students. For more information about Ohio’s Seal of Biliteracy Program, visit the Department’s Seal of Biliteracy webpage.

Next Up for World Languages in Ohio: Updating Our World Language Model Curriculum
Once the State Board of Education adopts the newly revised learning standards, our next major project mandated by law will be the updating of our World Language Model Curriculum. We will be soliciting volunteers to assist us with this work via an online application in the weeks ahead. Keep an eye on the OFLA Google group and our periodic ODE World Language e-publications for an official announcement soon. If you are interested in being a part of our working group, you should talk to your administrator now to see if you might be able to volunteer to assist with this important work. There is no stipend for volunteering, but the Department reimburses mileage for attendance at all working group meetings. Additionally, the Department will reimburse districts for substitute teacher coverage if it is required. In terms of the expected commitment, participants can anticipate at least one-weekday meeting per month beginning sometime this spring and running through the summer or early fall.


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