World Culture and Language

Why Language Study is Important

In today’s global community, competence in more than one language is an essential part of communication and cultural understanding. Study of another language not only provides individuals with the ability to express thoughts and ideas for their own purposes, but also provides them with access to perspectives and knowledge that are only available through the language and culture… The proficiencies acquired through the study of languages and literatures endow language learners with cognitive, analytical and communication skills that carry over into many other areas of their academic studies.* 

Understanding the Foreign Language Curriculum Document

The SVSU Foreign Language curriculum aligns with a combination of The National Standards for Learning Language and the Common Core State Standards as explained by ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages). 

The Common Core State Standards contain four strands: Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, and Language. These four strands are represented in the National Standards for Learning Languages by the Communications Standards (Interpersonal, Interpretive, and Presentational) and the level of proficiency demonstrated. In addition, the standards of the other four goal areas for learning languages – Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities – also support and are aligned with the Common Core. These standards describe the expectations to ensure all students are college­, career­, and world-ready.*** 

The Common Core strands of Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening are captured in the standards for learning languages goal area of Communication, by emphasizing the purpose behind the communication:


Interpersonal (speaking-­listening or writing­-reading)

o The interpersonal mode is characterized by active negotiation of meaning among individuals. Participants observe and monitor one another to see how their meanings and intentions are being communicated. Adjustments and clarifications can be made accordingly.* 

Interpretive (reading, listening, viewing)

o The interpretive mode is characterized by the appropriate cultural interpretation of meanings that occur in written and spoken form where there is no recourse to the active negotiation of meaning with the writer or speaker.* 

Presentational (writing, speaking, visually representing)

o The presentational mode is characterized by the creation of messages in a manner that facilitates interpretation by members of the target culture where no direct opportunity for the active negotiation of meaning exists.*