The ACTFL Decade of Standards Report

Jürgen Kurtz, Justus Liebig University (JLU) Giessen, Germany

Standards-based EFL/ESL education has become increasingly influential in the past decade, in the US as well as in many other countries. I have voiced my concerns about all this many times on this blog. Yesterday I stumbled upon two important papers in this context, both issued by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL): a) “A Decade of Foreign Language Standards: Impact, Influence, and Future Directions”, and b) “Alignment of the National Standards for Learning Languages with the Common Core State Standards”. If you like to read these papers as well, please click a) and b). I am interested to hear what you have to say about it.


2 responses to “The ACTFL Decade of Standards Report

  1. Foreign language has been unique. It has had the benefit of having watched the battle of standards play out in most of the other subject matters, without being bruised starts, stops, and redirections. As an older teacher who has only taught foreign language for a few years, I have enjoyed the freedom to teach with a broad, loose set of standards, which I think is apt. I’m afraid of the standards being deconstructed to such an extent that it will be heck to put them together again. I am interested in the debate of standards in FL. I am just beginning to read blogs, am not acquainted yet with your previous commentary, and look forward to hearing what you have to say on the subject because the voice of dissension is almost unheard in the move toward accountability, standardization, and uniformity in the age of anonymity.

  2. Dear John,

    Thank you very much for your comment. If you are interested in getting to know more about what I think about all these developments, please read “A personal view of foreign language education in Germany today”, which is available on this website.

    All the best,


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