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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.

Distance Learning Supports for World Languages Educators

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.

California Department of Education 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.


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.

The SBE has scheduled a WL Instructional Materials Adoption for 2021. This adoption will consider publisher submissions for instructional materials programs designed for kindergarten through grade eight. Final SBE consideration of submitted programs will occur in November 2021.

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.

Bilingual Teacher Professional Development Program
The purpose of the Bilingual Teacher Professional Development Program (BTPDP) is to increase the number of teachers who obtain a bilingual authorization as a result of participation in the program and increase the number of teachers with a bilingual authorization who return to teaching in a bilingual or multilingual setting. Assembly Bill 99, Chapter 15 and Section 54 Article 5 External link opens in new window or tab. (commencing with Section 52200), and added to Chapter 7 of Part 28 of Division 4 of Title 2 of the California Education Code, established funding for the BTPDP. Each grant project received $625,000 for a performance period starting January 1, 2018, through June 30, 2020.

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 and the number of students proficient in more than one language over the next 12 years.

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

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.

Instructional Resources

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

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
Report and recommendations of the 2016 California Global Education Summit.

Global Competence Indicators and Benchmarks External link opens in new window or tab.
Using the global competence indicators created by the California Global Education Project as a foundation, and aligned with the Four Domains of Global Competence, the benchmarks were generated to guide greater understanding of global competence and to support the implementation of global education programs in kindergarten through grade twelve classrooms, after-school programs, and informal education settings.

To receive quarterly updates and resources related to Global Education, join the CDE Global Education listserv by sending a blank email message to

To unsubscribe from the CDE Global Education Update, send a “blank” message to unsubscribe-

Professional Learning

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

California Department of Education Resources

Quality Professional Learning Standards
Present the elements of a quality professional learning system that, if well implemented, will benefit educators focused on increasing their professional capacity and performance.

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, and will be made available as they are completed.

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.

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.

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.


Receive Updates about World Languages (WL) Education

To receive quarterly updates from the California Department of Education about WL education and related information, send a “blank” email message to join-world

To unsubscribe from the WL Teaching Update, send a “blank” email message to

To receive periodic updates specific to the WL Standards, WL Framework, and instructional materials review processes and progress, send a "blank" email message to

To unsubscribe from the WL Updates Listserv: Send a "blank" email message to

What's New?

Report: Professional Learning Needs Assessment Survey for World Languages Educators (DOCX)
First CDE needs assessment specifically addressing the professional learning priorities of WL educators in 2020.

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


Questions:   Susie M. Watt | | 916-323-5252
Last Reviewed: Friday, November 6, 2020