Thursday, May 22, 2014

My Newest Standards

The problem with my old standards was that they were too limiting. I was not able to use a wide variety of assessments and I started to feel really stifled toward the middle of the year.

I just finished the second draft of the standards I will use next year:

I tried to make them more general so that they would allow me to use a wider variety of assessment. They should also work for any level of any language at any school that offers the standard four year course.


  1. You capture the communication standards, but how do you assess the cultural standards?

    1. Great question. Most of what passes for "cultural" stuff in foreign language classes really just wastes time in English. The students must read this English essay and then complete some activity in English, or they must create a PowerPoint in English or a bulletin board in English, etc. For that reason I have chosen to follow ACTFL's "three modes of communication" rather than their "5 Cs." But with that being said, we do cover lots of cultural stuff as the CONTENT of what we discuss via the three modes, that is, the readings, the pictures we discuss, etc., are often culturally Roman/Latin. I would much rather discuss Roman things in Latin during class time, even very simple concepts like servus vs. dominus, than devote 1/4 of my time to English cultural projects. Thanks for the question! Does that answer it?

  2. Yes. Thank you. However, it does raise another question for me.

    Is there any value in providing feedback (in the form of a grade or mark) on the cultural components embedded within a Latin course?

  3. Well, I've been wrestling with that. I think a Latin course benefits by identifying which cultural elements it teaches. But is it necessary to create a grade book category devoted to culture? (My underlying intent being to create a standards based or referenced grade book).

    I have attempted to do this over the last couple of years, but what I have found is that nothing usually gets posted under that strand, i.e., no assessments that naturally arise from the course, or that I have to artificially create assessments to fill the column devoted to culture. Much of what happens in a class that concerns culture is happening in the target language anyway. In other words, to create culture marks I resort to creating a false division between culture and language. I am not certain that this is helpful.

    Thanks for the dialogue.