on (a) communicating in the target language, (b) understanding the target culture, (c) connecting
with other disciplines and acquiring information through the target language, (d) comparing the
target language and culture with one's own, and e) being able to participate in a global
community (Standards, 1999). While the 5 Cs-Communication, Culture, Connections,
Comparisons, Communities-are represented as interlocking rings, implying some degree of
equality of importance and interdependency, communication is at the heart of second language
study whether that communication is spoken, written or read.
When first published, the Standards did not portray the reality of the day in language
classrooms, but a vision for the future of language study in the United States. While the original
intent was to provide a framework for K-12 classrooms, benchmarks for grades 4, 8, 12, and 16
were included in the language specific Standards published in 1999. Professional language
organizations such as ACTFL, Modern Language Association (MLA) and the American
Associations of Teachers of the various foreign languages (AATs) have encouraged their usage
at levels K-16; however, faculty in colleges of arts and sciences or humanities have been slow to
align the curriculum to the Standards. The Standards have been utilized in schools and colleges
of education as part of new teacher preparation, and the Standards have been employed to
operationally define assessment for reviews by National Council for Accreditation of Teacher
Education (NCATE) and Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Thus, the
disconnect between the high school and university philosophies for foreign language study and
the corresponding curricula continues.
Foreign Language Learning and Second Language Acquisition
Language acquisition potential is optimal during the elementary years (Ackerman, 2004;
Curtain & Dahlberg, 2004; Hamayan, 1986; Krashen, Scarcella & Long, 1982) yet foreign
Oxford, Raquel Malia Nitta. Effects of Technology-Enhanced Language Learning on Second Language Composition of University-Level Intermediate Spanish Students. Denton, Texas. UNT Digital Library. http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4688/. Accessed July 31, 2014.