Sonrisas, the Standards, and Student OutcomesBrooks
Sonrisas Spanish and the National Standards for Foreign Language Learning
The National Standards for Foreign Language Learning were first published in 1996 in the document, “Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century.” The standards were developed out of a collaboration among ACTFL and numerous other national associations. The document they produced was thorough, well-written, and extremely relevant to all world language teaching. The standards guided us in the development of the Sonrisas Spanish curriculum for preschool and elementary Spanish students. Lesson design in the Sonrisas curriculum intentionally incorporated the five Cs of the standards: Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities. In the Teacher Manual of each level, we explained how we addressed the five Cs in the curriculum. Lesson plans listed the correlations to the five Cs.
The World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages
Now in its fourth edition, the standards have been revised with a new title: “World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages.” The changes reflect a sharper focus on real-world applications, with the idea that learners who add another language and understanding of culture to their education are “world-ready.” Another key change is that the progression for developing learners’ performance in the modes of communication is described through Sample Performance Indicators. Performance indicators define observable student outcomes in meeting the standards.
The Sonrisas Spanish World-Readiness Standards Alignment Guide
Our Standards Alignment Guide demonstrates the alignment of the Sonrisas Spanish curriculum to the World-Readiness Standards for Language Learning with a focus on the Communications and Cultures standards. The guide is modeled on the NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements (2017). The information in the guide reflects the continuum of growth in communication skills, through the Novice Low and Intermediate Low proficiency levels, that learners achieve with instruction in the Sonrisas Spanish lessons. It also reflects how learners can use Spanish and their knowledge of culture to demonstrate their Intercultural Competence (ICC).
In the guide the standards alignment is presented for each lesson in Sonrisas Levels I and II. For Sonrisas Level III, the alignment is presented for each unit. Standards alignment is shown with Performance Indicators and Can-Do Statements for the lessons or units. There is a separate section for each mode of communication—interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational—and a separate section for the ICC. Each section indicates which level of proficiency is reflected through the Performance Indicators and Can-Do Statements for the given lesson or unit.
The Performance Indicators define the observable student outcomes that meet the standards. The Can-Do Statements are examples of what learners at different proficiency levels actually do in the lesson to demonstrate their knowledge of the standards. The Sonrisas Spanish World-Readiness Standards Alignment Guide is an excellent resource for the teachers and administrators who are using the Sonrisas Spanish curriculum. The guide is helpful in several ways:
- It provides evidence of standards alignment.
- It defines the impact that the Sonrisas Spanish curriculum has on student outcomes and proficiency.
- It provides clarity and focus for teachers as they plan and implement the Sonrisas lessons.
Click here to see the all new Sonrisas Spanish World-Readiness Standards Alignment Guide.