Massachusetts World Language Standard Update

To ensure the quality of Massachusetts’ world language education, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) contracted CAL to research and provide recommendations on how to update the existing Massachusetts world language standards, published in 1999.

CAL conducted a literature review that examined the social changes that have created needs for standards revisions, the theoretical framework of the ACTFL Standards, and best practices in creating and revising world language standards. CAL also prepared an annotated bibliography summarizing relevant research findings on this topic. A comparative analysis of world language standards in all states and the District of Columbia was conducted to examine current trends and inform Massachusetts’ standards revision process. Finally, an online survey was distributed to current and former world language educators in Massachusetts to better understand local user needs.

CAL delivered a final report summarizing the findings from each research component and final recommendations for updating the Massachusetts Framework. These recommendations included adopting the term “world language” in place of “foreign language” in the framework; adopting the ACTFL goal areas and proficiency descriptors; providing additional resources such as language-specific standards, lesson ideas, and sample rubrics and assessments; and planning for professional development events to support implementation of the revised standards.

To learn more, download the final report: