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Divisions > Curriculum, Assessment & Accountability
World Languages

The fundamental purpose of world language instruction is to enable students to communicate in a new language in a culturally appropriate way. The linguistic and cultural insights that come from world language study are essential for citizens in the global community and marketplace.

In Focus
Click here to view elementary STEM curriculum modules in Arabic, Chinese, and Spanish funded by Maryland's RACE TO THE TOP World Languages Pipelines Project.

The Maryland State Curriculum (SC) for World Languages was unanimously accepted by the Maryland Board of Education on March 24, 2009.  Click here for the Introduction and the SC.

World Language Goals: The Five C’s

COMMUNICATION in another language is at the heart of the world language classroom. Central to language learning is using the second language to communicate, to learn, and to become part of another culture, rather than talking about the second language or another culture in English.

By studying language, students gain knowledge and understanding of the CULTURES that use that language. Only second language study empowers learners to participate in the exchange of information and ideas in the language of the culture, enabling students to develop cross-cultural understanding and respect.

Learning languages provides CONNECTIONS to other disciplines, shifting the focus from language acquisition to using language as a tool for learning. As learners of a second language, students broaden the sources of information available to them.

Through COMPARISONS and contrasts with the target language and their native language, students learn about the nature of language itself. Their understanding of the interrelationship of language and culture is enhanced through comparisons of the perspectives and practices of cultures studied and their own.

Students of languages are able to apply their skills and knowledge beyond the classroom in multilingual COMMUNITIES both at home and around the world. Students become life-long learners, improving their proficiency in their new language and using it for personal enjoyment and enrichment.

Standards Development Process

The Maryland State Board of Education (MSDE), through the State Superintendent of Schools, formed a Foreign Language Content Standards Committee comprised of local school system supervisors, MSDE staff, and representatives from Maryland colleges and universities. The committee met monthly over the course of two years to develop the standards, using resources such as the national Standards for Foreign Language Learning developed by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) and standards documents from other states.

COMAR Regulation 13A.04.11, Programs in World Languages
: Unanimously adopted by the Maryland State Board of Education on January 26, 2010.

World Languages in Maryland

Maryland students have the opportunity to increase cultural awareness and develop language skills in eleven languages in grades K-12. 2013-2014 World Languages Enrollment Report provides information on language offerings in each of Maryland’s 24 school systems.

World Language Resource Links

Maryland Heritage Language Task Force Report

ACTFL - American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages

MFLA - Maryland Foreign Language Association

National Standards for Foreign Language Learning

We should have every child speaking more than one language!

-- President Barack Obama

Contact Information

Bonnie Pechulis
Language Acquisition and Assessment Specialist
Maryland State Department of Education
200 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone:  410-767-0331
Fax: 410-333-1146
Email:  bonnie.pechulis@maryland.gov

Susan C. Spinnato
Director of Instructional Programs
Maryland State Department of Education
200 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone:  410-767-0349
Fax:  410-333-1146
Email:  susan.spinnato@maryland.gov
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