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World Languages

Information relating to world languages programs, content knowledge, and pedagogy for California educators.

The California Department of Education (CDE) provides leadership, technical assistance, and guidance for teachers, administrators, families, state and local educational agencies, professional organizations, and collaborating partners to implement high-quality, equitable World Languages (WL) education programs for all students, prekindergarten to grade twelve.

Guidance

The CDE assists prekindergarten to grade twelve school districts and county offices of education in the planning and implementation of World Languages (WL) programs.

Content Standards

The World Languages Standards for California Public Schools (PDF) (WL Standards), adopted by the State Board of Education (SBE) in January 2019, provide guidance to teachers, administrators, students, parents, and the community at large in implementing WL programs for California’s diverse student population. The WL Standards embody the desire for every student to develop the skills to effectively navigate the international marketplace; interact meaningfully across cultures; and succeed in global enterprise and international relations. The WL Standards provide support for recent legislation and initiatives that champion these outcomes, and are aligned with the national standards.

Curriculum Framework

The SBE approved and adopted the draft framework chapters of the World Languages Framework for Public Schools, Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve (WL Framework) on July 8, 2020. The publication of this document marks the first time that teachers and other stakeholders have access to both WL Standards and a comprehensive WL Framework that provides educators with guidance on implementing a high-quality WL Program for students at all levels from kindergarten through grade twelve. The WL Framework aligns to California’s WL Standards and promotes research-based teaching practices in WL education.

National Standards

American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages External link opens in new window or tab.
The World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages define the central role of WL in the learning career of every student. The five goal areas of these standards establish an inextricable link between communication and culture, which is applied in making connections and comparisons and in using this competence to be part of local and global communities.

National Council of State Supervisors for Languages (NCSSFL)/ACTFL Can-Do Statements External link opens in new window or tab.
The result of collaboration between the NCSSFL and the ACTFL, the Can-Do Statements reflect the continuum of growth in communication skills through the novice, intermediate, advanced, superior, and distinguished levels. They guide:

  • Language learners to identify and set learning goals and chart their progress towards language and intercultural proficiency;
  • Educators to write communication learning targets for curriculum and unit and lesson plans;
  • Stakeholders to clarify how well learners at different stages can communicate.

Instructional Materials

Information and resources for instructional materials are available on the CDE Instructional Materials web page. Additional information regarding the WL adoption process and recommendations is available on the Instructional Materials - World Languages web page.

The SBE approved the WL Instructional Materials Adoption in November 2021. This adoption considered publisher submissions for instructional materials programs designed for kindergarten through grade eight.

Findings and recommendations resulting from the WL Instructional Materials Adoption can be accessed on the 2021 World Languages Adoption Reports of Findings web page.

Additional information and resources for instructional materials are available on the CDE Instructional Materials web page.

Legislation, Policies, and Initiatives Related to World Languages Education

California Education for a Global Economy Initiative
In November 2016, California voters approved Proposition 58, also known as the California Education for a Global Economy Initiative (CA Ed.G.E.). CA Ed.G.E. authorizes school districts and county offices of education to establish language acquisition programs for both native and non-native English speakers, and requires school districts and county offices of education to solicit parent and community input in developing language acquisition programs.

State Seal of Biliteracy
The State Seal of Biliteracy (SSB), per Assembly Bill 815 External link opens in new window or tab. (Brownley, Chapter 618, Statutes of 2011), became effective January 1, 2012, and was amended in 2017 per AB 1142 External link opens in new window or tab., effective January 1, 2018. This program recognizes high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing one or more languages in addition to English. The SSB is awarded by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction in accordance with specified criteria set forth in the legislation.

Global California 2030 (PDF)
Global California 2030 (Global 2030) was launched in May of 2018, with the intention to vastly expand the teaching and learning of WL, as well as the number of students proficient in more than one language, by 2030.

Global 2030 helps to better prepare California students for the 21st century economy, broadening their perspective and understanding of the world by building upon the diversity of backgrounds, languages, and cultures that make California unique, successful, vibrant, and dynamic.

Instructional Supports

The following websites provide instructional resources and support for classroom teachers.

Planning and Programming

Multilingual Education - Resources
The resources on this web page offer information on the development, implementation, and location of multilingual programs.

Bilingual Coordinators Network - Title III
Information regarding the Bilingual Coordinators Network (BCN), including the meeting calendar.

English Learner Roadmap
Guidance on welcoming, understanding, and educating the diverse population of students who are English learners attending California public schools.

English Language Development Standards
Standards for English Language Development (ELD) for pupils whose primary language is a language other than English.

English Language Arts/English Language Development Framework
Guidance for educators, parents, and publishers to support implementing California’s English Language Arts/English Language Development Standards.

Universal Design for Learning Guidelines External link opens in new window or tab.
Tool used in the implementation of Universal Design for Learning, a framework to improve and optimize teaching and learning for all individuals based on scientific insights into how humans learn.

Multi-Tiered System of Supports - Curriculum and Instruction Resources
California’s Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) focuses on aligning initiatives and resources within an educational organization to address the needs of all students. It is an integrated, comprehensive framework for local educational agencies (LEAs) that aligns academic, behavioral, and social-emotional learning in a fully integrated system of support for the benefit of all students.

Instructional Resources
General instructional resources from the Department of Education.

Instructional Resources

Distance Learning Resources for World Languages
A collection of resources for teaching WL remotely. This page is regularly updated.

World Languages - Teaching & Learning
Curriculum development and Instructional Resources Division (CFIRD) landing page for WL information, guidance, and resources.

California Educators Together External link opens in new window or tab.
California Educators Together (CET) is a one-of-a-kind, web-based community of practice that provides districts, schools, and educators equitable access to a high-quality digital environment with a comprehensive and growing collection of diverse, open digital resources. Through CET, educators can engage and share learning resources and best practices with one another now and into the future. The platform offers robust how-to resources to help maximize access to, and utilization of, CET’s broad and comprehensive spectrum of materials and information. Use CET to interact with peers, join interest groups such as the Global Education External link opens in new window or tab. and World Languages External link opens in new window or tab. statewide groups, and explore and contribute to the growing resource collections.

California Language Teachers’ Association Important Links External link opens in new window or tab.
To download theWL Standardsposter, visit the Important Links External link opens in new window or tab. page of the CLTA website External link opens in new window or tab. to access 2019 World Languages Poster. The poster, suitable for display, highlights what is essential for educators to know about the new standards, why the Communities and Comparisons goal areas have been placed into the primary domain of Communication, and how theWL Standardsillustrate necessary shifts in instructional approaches intended to bring about optimal performance among students in world languages classrooms.

Stanford World Language Project External link opens in new window or tab.
To download the WL Standards poster, visit the link titled 2019 World Languages Poster, which highlights what is essential for educators to know about the new standards, why the Communities and Comparisons goal areas have been placed into the primary domain of Communication, and how the WL Standards illustrate necessary shifts in instructional approaches intended to bring about optimal performance among students in world languages classrooms.

California Standards Mobile Application
Lets educators quickly find, search, and sort relevant standards across disciplines to aid in instructional planning and assessment.

Global Education Resources

Asia Society Partnership for Global Learning External link opens in new window or tab.
The California Department of Education (CDE) supports the use of the Asia Society’s Four Domains of Global Competence External link opens in new window or tab. as a tool for building the skills of global citizenship.

Educating for Global Competency External link opens in new window or tab.
Report and recommendations of the 2016 California Global Education Summit.

California Global Education Project External link opens in new window or tab.
The California Global Education Project (CGEP) offers information, instructional resources, and high-quality professional learning supporting global competency across the curriculum. Check out CGEN’s Global Competence Indicators & Benchmarks for K-12 Students in California, a comprehensive set of observable milestones for the development of the skills of global citizenship. They support the implementation of global education programs in kindergarten through grade twelve classrooms, after-school programs, and informal education settings. The benchmarks were generated by CGEN using the global competence indicators developed by CGEP, and comprise an important element of CGEP’s Global Competence Framework External link opens in new window or tab. (scroll down through the Framework to access the Indicators and Benchmarks).

To receive quarterly updates and resources related to Global Education, join the CDE Global Education listserv by sending a blank email message to join-global-education@mlist.cde.ca.gov.

To unsubscribe from the CDE Global Education Update, send a “blank” message to unsubscribe- global-education@mlist.cde.ca.gov.

Professional Learning

Resources and information that support professional learning for World Languages (WL) educators.

California Department of Education Resources

World Languages Resources

Executive Summary: Professional Learning Needs Assessment Survey for World Languages Educators Summary Report (DOCX)
An abbreviated summary of the 2020 WL needs assessment report.

Report: Professional Learning Needs Assessment Survey for WL Educators (DOCX)
This 2020 survey is the first CDE needs assessment specifically addressing the professional learning priorities of WL educators.

World Languages Standards Implementation Peer to Peer Learning Guide: Module 0 (DOCX)
Introductory module of the peer-to-peer learning series supporting WL Standards implementation. Subsequent modules are in development in collaboration with California Department of Education (CDE) professional learning partners, California Language Teachers Association, and the California World Language Project.

The State Seal of Biliteracy (SSB): Ideas from the Field
The CDE shares SSB: Ideas from the field, a record of strategies for supporting, promoting, and expanding participation in the SSB initiative through local action. These suggestions were submitted in response to the following prompt on the 2020 Professional Learning Needs Assessment Survey for WL Educators:

What actions do you take locally to encourage students to pursue and attain the SSB?

Responses are grouped into the five categories below:

  • Language Programs, Alignment, and School/District Goals
  • Events and Recognition
  • Communication
  • Family Engagement
  • Student Counseling, Advising, and Support

This input from the WL educators’ community is intended to serve schools and districts as a starting point for adoption, adaptation, and inspiration to create additional strategies for expanding student interest and participation in attaining the award.

Please note that the comments submitted are reproduced with only minimal adjustment to formatting and readability and without edits to content.

Global California 2030: Suggestions from the Field
The CDE has also made available a record of suggestions for supporting, promoting, and expanding participation in the California Global 2030 initiative through local action. These suggestions from the WL educators’ community are provided as a starting point for exploring ways to increase school and district participation in the initiative and local adoption of its goals for multiliteracy. These comments were submitted by California’s WL educators in response to a prompt on the 2020 Professional Learning Needs Assessment Survey for WL Educators:

What actions do you take locally to promote achievement of the goals of Global 2030?

Responses are grouped into the five categories below:

  • Not aware, Not Started, Planning
  • Discussion
  • Language Programs Integration, School/District Goals
  • Communication
  • Teacher Professional Development

Please note that the comments submitted are reproduced with only minimal adjustment to formatting and readability and without edits to content.

Distance Learning Supports

The following organizations provide WL educators with guidance, resources, and professional learning opportunities, including targeted support for the current focus on remote learning and distance education.

CDE Distance Learning Resources for World Languages

For a curated list of distance learning instructional resources in a variety of subject areas, visit the CDE Distance Learning web page under the Content Resources tab.

General Resources for Professional Learning

Professional Learning
Collaborative professional development aligned to student learning and standards that prepares, trains, and recruits high-quality teachers, principals, paraprofessionals, and other staff. This overview page provides links to many resources.

CDE Professional Learning Opportunities Database
A searchable database of professional learning opportunities available throughout California and online.

California Content Standards
Content standards were designed to encourage the highest achievement of every student, by defining the knowledge, concepts, and skills that students should acquire at each grade level.

California Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Materials
Curriculum frameworks provide guidance for implementing the content standards adopted by theState Board of Education (SBE). Frameworks are developed by the Instructional Quality Commission, which also reviews and recommends textbooks and other instructional materials to be adopted by the SBE.

California Educators Together External link opens in new window or tab.
California Educators Together (CET) is a one-of-a-kind, web-based community of practice that provides districts, schools, and educators equitable access to a high-quality digital environment with a comprehensive and growing collection of diverse, open digital resources. Through CET, educators can engage and share learning resources and best practices with one another now and into the future. The platform offers robust how-to resources to help maximize access to, and utilization of, CET’s broad and comprehensive spectrum of materials and information. Use CET to interact with peers, join interest groups such as the Global Education External link opens in new window or tab. and World Languages External link opens in new window or tab. statewide groups, and explore and contribute to the growing resource collections.

Quality Professional Learning Standards
These standards present the fundamental elements of a high-quality professional learning system and provide a guide for development and evaluation of professional learning programs and infrastructure to benefit educators focused on increasing their professional capacity and performance.

California Global 2030 (PDF)
Initiative designed to equip students with the WL skills to succeed in the global economy and to fully engage with the diverse mixture of cultures and languages found in California and throughout the world.

California One System Serving the Whole Child
Designed to align supports meeting the needs of the whole child with the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) planning process and identifies resources and initiatives that assist local educational agencies, schools, and local stakeholders as they plan and implement their LCAP or other improvement planning processes.

California Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) External link opens in new window or tab.
Focuses on aligning initiatives and resources within an educational organization to address the academic, behavioral, and social and emotional learning needs of all students. This website, created and maintained by the Orange County Department of Education, contains information and resources that support the awareness, adoption, and integration of MTSS in California schools.

Social and Emotional Learning
Comprehensive, state-level guidance and resources for supporting social and emotional learning practices for students and the adults who work with them.

California’s Social and Emotional Learning Guiding Principles (PDF)
Designed to build on the practices already happening in many schools and to empower local stakeholders to continue to advance social and emotional learning in ways that meet the needs of their specific contexts and populations.

Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy
Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy builds upon the Asset-Based Pedagogies that preceded it in that it presents the need to not only affirm and connect to students’ cultural backgrounds, but also to sustain them through schooling.

California Dyslexia Guidelines and Information (PDF)
General information on dyslexia and related California Department of Education (CDE) programs, projects, and resources.

California Practitioner’s Guide to Educating English Learners with Disabilities (PDF)
Guidance on identifying English learners as individuals with exceptional needs, classifying individuals with exceptional needs as English learners, supporting pupils who are both English learners and individuals with exceptional needs, and determining when such students should be either removed from classification as English learners or exited from special education.

CDE Professional Learning Opportunities Database
A searchable database of professional learning opportunities available throughout California and online.

Student Programs

Information for students on state, national, and international programs related to World Languages learning.

California’s State Seal of Biliteracy
Marked by a gold seal on the diploma or transcript, recognizes high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing one or more languages in addition to English.

Heritage Schools
California Department of Education list of registered Heritage Schools in California that operate outside of compulsory education and offer instruction in the culture, traditions, history, and language of a country other than the United States.

Global Navigator High School Study Abroad External link opens in new window or tab.
A nonprofit study abroad and intercultural exchange organization offering a variety of study abroad programs for high school students. Also offers an array of scholarships, grants, and other funding opportunities to help high school students make their dreams of studying abroad a reality.

Updates

Receive Updates about World Languages Education

To receive quarterly updates from the California Department of Education (CDE) about world languages (WL) education and related information, send a “blank” email message to join-world language-teaching@mlist.cde.ca.gov.

To unsubscribe from the WL Teaching Update, send a “blank” email message to unsubscribe-world-language-teaching@mlist.cde.ca.gov.

To receive periodic updates specific to theWL Standards,WL Framework, and instructional materials review processes and progress, send a "blank" email message to join-world-language-standards-updates@mlist.cde.ca.gov.

To unsubscribe from the WL Updates Listserv: Send a "blank" email message to unsubscribe-world-language-standards-updates@mlist.cde.ca.gov.

What's New?

California Educators Together: A Community of Practice Platform!

In collaboration with the Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation, the CDE has launched California Educators Together (CET) External link opens in new window or tab., a one-of-a-kind, web-based community of practice to provide districts, schools, and educators equitable access to a high-quality digital environment with a comprehensive and growing collection of diverse, open digital resources.

The CDE, through the generous support of the AT&T Foundation and The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, identified an important need and invested in building the CET platform to ensure educators can engage and share learning resources and best practices with one another into the future. The platform offers robust how-to resources to help you maximize your access to and utilization of CET’s broad and comprehensive spectrum of materials and information.

Use CET to interact with peers, join statewide interest groups such as the Global Education External link opens in new window or tab. and World Languages External link opens in new window or tab. statewide groups, and both explore and contribute to their growing resource repositories.

California State Seal of Civic Engagement for WL Students

The State Seal of Biliteracy (SSB) is an established and increasingly sought after goal for WL students. Have you heard about and considered offering your students the opportunity to earn the State Seal of Civic Engagement (SSCE) as well? With appropriate support, WL students have an excellent opportunity to attain both of these seals through the skills they acquire and the work they perform in the WL classroom.

The five statewide SSCE criteria align closely with the Four Domains of Global Competence, which are integrated into the instructional approach advocated by both the WL Standards and WL Framework. In particular, the “Take Action” Domain matches the SSCE criterion requiring students to participate in civic engagement project(s) that address real-world problems.

Check out the SSCE web page to find out more about the SSCE!

Questions:   Professional Learning Innovations Office | PLIO@cde.ca.gov | 916-323-6269
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, June 12, 2024
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