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California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
November 8, 2021

Dear County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators:

Instructional Materials Adoption for World Languages

During its November 2021 meeting, the State Board of Education (SBE) voted to approve 10 instructional programs for grades K–8 that align with the 2019 World Languages Standards for Public Schools, Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve (WL Standards).

I want to commend the work of the reviewers—mostly classroom teachers along with educators and arts experts from across California—for their dedication, flexibility, and extensive review. I want to thank those who developed the virtual adoption process, including staff from the California Department of Education, the SBE, and members of the Instructional Quality Commission. And I also appreciate the members of the public who participated throughout the process.

Four publishers submitted instructional programs for review that included a total of three performance levels: novice, intermediate, and advanced. Like the WL Standards, the instructional materials the SBE has adopted support local educational agencies (LEAs) as they promote multilingualism for all students through access to high-quality, well-articulated world languages programs. The WL Standards, as well as the guidance in the World Languages Framework for Public Schools, Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve (WL Framework) call for necessary shifts in instructional approaches intended to bring about optimal performance among students in world languages classrooms. The goals of the WL Standards highlight ways California educators can create a more inclusive learning environment in the world languages classroom.

These K–8 instructional programs prompt teachers to use the target language to make language, culture, and content comprehensible using multiple modalities for learning. They also provide opportunities for students to use the target language for real-world purposes in culturally appropriate ways. Instructional resources that support the teaching and learning of the WL Standards may encourage LEAs to introduce and support language learning early in elementary school, offer a wider range of world languages, and streamline the progression of language acquisition from elementary through high school and beyond.

The arts adoption process took place according to Governor Newsom’s executive order N-29-20 which may be found at https://www.gov.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/3.17.20-N-29-20-EO.pdf. Training and deliberations were conducted virtually.

The SBE’s recommendation of eight Spanish and two French programs does not limit the choices that LEAs have when considering world languages instructional materials not submitted during this adoption. The California Education Code Section 60210 allows districts to choose instructional materials approved by the SBE or to seek out other materials if those materials teach the content standards, reflect the guidance of the WL Framework, and meet the local community’s instructional needs.

Additional information on the 2021 World Languages Adoption of K–8 Instructional Materials process can be found within the California State Board of Education November 2021 Agenda at https://www.cde.ca.gov/be/ag/ag/yr21/agenda202111.asp (Item 09).

If you have questions about instructional materials, please contact Mike Torres, Ed. D., Interim Director, Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division, by email at CFIRD@cde.ca.gov.

Sincerely,

Tony Thurmond
State Superintendent of Public Instruction

TT:mt
Last Reviewed: Monday, November 8, 2021

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