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

As the 2019-2020 academic year begins, we at the Ohio Department of Education would like to express a heartfelt “Welcome Back” to our outstanding Ohio world language teachers. We greatly appreciate your effort, innovation and dedication!!

World Language Learning Standards Update and Public Feedback

The draft version of Ohio’s revised Learning Standards for K-12 World Languages has been posted online, with public feedback available through October 11. We are grateful to all the teachers who were able to provide us feedback, as the standards are a direct reflection of the needs expressed by the field! 

The timeline for the remainder of the revisionary process is as follows:

Sep. – Oct. 2019 Seek public feedback on draft revised learning standards

Oct. – Nov. 2019 Final revision of draft learning standards

Dec. 2019 Initiate process for State Board approval of the refreshed standards

Jan. – Feb. 2020 Tentative adoption of revised learning standards by the State Board

  • Based on the December 2018 survey feedback on our 2012 standards, our 2020 draft standards have a much closer alignment with the ACTFL proficiency levels and range from Novice Low to Advanced Low proficiency. Additionally, this will provide more vertical alignment guidance and descriptors for teachers who wish to help their students earn the Seal of Biliteracy (Intermediate High proficiency).
  • The 2020 draft standards also place a stronger focus on using authentic resources to develop literacy skills and intercultural and communicative competence, providing comprehensible target language input at all levels, and eliciting target language output beginning at Novice Low. 
  • Grade bands are currently not a part of the 2020 draft standards, but suggested proficiency targets will continue to be provided through links to the model curriculum. Due to Ohio’s local control requirements, all districts are free to determine their own targets based on individual program characteristics.
  • Specific vocabulary and grammatical structures are not a part of the world language standards. Given the variety of language types and levels of difficulty taught in Ohio, it is impossible to prescribe specific or universal vocabulary and grammatical elements into the standards; instead, we will continue to have guidance and ideas for structures and vocabulary as part of our model curriculum resources.
  • Survey feedback also revealed a need for more specific guidance for modern languages, American Sign Language and the classical languages within the realm of proficiency, intercultural competence and the three modes of communication. The feedback we are now gathering from our current survey is providing us insight into how we can successfully accomplish this. 

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