National Standards

National Standards in Foreign Language Education

The 5 C's: 
Communication, Culture, Connections, Comparisons, Communities

Standards-based world languages education and the New Jersey standards reflect the themes in the Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century (1999), known as "The Five Cs." These standards describe the "what" (content) of world languages learning and form the core of standards-based instruction in the world languages classroom.


Communication 

The communication standard stresses the use of language for communication in "real life" situations. It emphasizes "what students can do with language" rather than "what they know about language." Students are asked to communicate in oral and written form, interpret oral and written messages, show cultural understanding when they communicate, and present oral and written information to various audiences for a variety of purposes.

 
Cultures
 
Cultural understanding is an important part of world languages education. Experiencing other cultures develops a better understanding and appreciation of the relationship between languages and other cultures, as well as the student's native culture. Students become better able to understand other people's points of view, ways of life, and contributions to the world.
 

Connections
 
World languages instruction must be connected with other subject areas. Content from other subject areas is integrated with world language instruction through lessons that are developed around common themes

 
Comparisons
 
Students are encouraged to compare and contrast languages and cultures. They discover patterns, make predictions, and analyze similarities and differences across languages and cultures. Students often come to understand their native language and culture better through such comparisons.

 
Communities
 
Extending learning experiences from the world language classroom to the home and multilingual and multicultural community emphasizes living in a global society. Activities may include: field trips, use of e-mail and the World Wide Web, clubs, exchange programs and cultural activities, school-to-work opportunities, and opportunities to hear speakers of other languages in the school and classroom.