Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Teaching Foreign Languages K–12

A Library of Classroom Practices

Standards and the Five Cs

The release of the standards made it possible for all of our students to really use the language, learn about the culture, use the language beyond the classroom, and make connections to other disciplines. And then through that process, understand their own language and culture better.

- Martha G. Abbott, Fairfax County Public Schools, Virginia

This video is an introduction to the National Standards for Foreign Language Learning. The standards define what students should know and be able to do in foreign language education. Through classroom examples and interviews with teachers, students, and experts in the field, this program begins to show how a range of teachers are using the standards to advance their students' foreign language skills and engage them in lifelong learning.

The video is organized according to the five goal areas of the National Standards -- Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities -- called the Five Cs. For the Communication goal area, teachers see how students use language in culturally appropriate ways and talk about, read about, write about, and learn about topics of interest or importance to them. The video then shows how teachers incorporate Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities goal areas into their lessons. In addition, the video illustrates teachers taking a thematic approach to designing lessons and units.

Ways To Use the Video

You can use this video for the following purposes:

  • to learn about or refresh your understanding of the standards,
  • to launch a professional development workshop, or
  • to facilitate a discussion about standards-based foreign language education.

Watch the Video

This video presents the broad goals of the standards and explores the Five Cs individually and in relation to one another. Watch the video in its entirety, or pause for discussion or reflection after each of the Five Cs is presented. Use the Standards and the Five Cs Viewing Chart to guide your viewing.

Reflect on the Video
After watching the video, reflect on these questions or discuss them as a group.

  • What do the Five Cs goal areas and their standards represent?
  • What linkages are there among the five goal areas, for example, between Communication and Cultures? Between Communication and Connections? Among Cultures, Comparisons, and Communities?
  • What did you find interesting, surprising, or especially important about the way standards were addressed in these classroom examples?
  • What aspects of the Five Cs did you learn more about through the video?
  • If your state or district has foreign language standards, how do they align with the National Standards for Foreign Language Learning?
  • What aspects of the goal areas and their standards would you like to explore further?
Watch Other Videos
For more information on the classrooms featured in this video or to see other classroom examples of the standards in action, go to the Video Organizer Chart and select another video from the Teaching Foreign Languages K-12 library.

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Standards and the Five Cs >
Introduction | Viewing Chart | National Standards

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