Secondary Foreign Language Education

Foreign Language teacher candidates will develop a comprehensive approach to designing curriculum, instruction and assessment for foreign language programs in K-12. What should students know and be able to do with another language serves as the guiding question for making curricular, instructional, and assessment decisions about classroom foreign language learning.

Teacher candidates will:

  • Build a conceptual framework for second language teaching based on theoretical insights and research/inquiry from a broad range of empirical and qualitative studies.
  • Develop a contextualized, integrative approach to language teaching that is based on meaningful language use, real-world communication, interaction among language learners, and learning new information.
  • Learn to make effective use of small group, pair work, and cooperative learning techniques, as well as optimal integration of instructional technology/digital media.
  • Use best practices to design curriculum organized around the Standards for Foreign Language Learning (National Standards in Foreign Language Education Project, 1996) and the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Program Standards for the Preparation of Foreign Language Teachers (ACTFL, 2002) by linking theory and practice via teaching applications. Teacher candidates will demonstrate teaching and learning principles that lead to a learner-centered, interactive classroom.
Program Outcomes:

The ability to communicate in meaningful and appropriate ways with native speakers is the goal of language study. The 10 teaching competencies/principles developed by the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) Council of Chief State School Officials in 1992 (Model Standards for Beginning Teachers Licensing and Development: A Resource for State Dialogue) serve as the basis for the INTASC Standards for Beginning Foreign Language Teachers. These standards are used to assess your progress as you navigate the secondary foreign language education program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The Standards and Frameworks provide the what, how, when and why of language study and serve as important documents to help guide the classroom teacher in determining curriculum and pedagogy for language classrooms.

Effective teachers evaluate their teaching based on a deep understanding of:

  • The needs/interests of diverse learners,
  • The curriculum and subject matter,
  • Research based teaching processes and
  • Professional expectations and development. These four tenets work in synergy with the INTASC principles.

These standards serve as the organizational tool for an ePortfolio that demonstrates performance and competencies in each of the standards.