Standards for Learning Arabic K-16 in the United States
The Standards publication is guided by the generic Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century. It is a collaborative effort of the Arabic K-12 Materials Development Project, the National Capital Language Resource Center, the National Standards Collaborative, the American Association of Teachers of Arabic, and the National Middle East Language Resource Center. In addition, the publication reflects the sound and careful advice from many others who commented on various drafts and generously gave of their time to this effort.
The Task Force is also extremely grateful to the National Foreign Language Education Project for its generous financial assistance for Task Force meetings and its sustained support through the development of the Standards for Learning Arabic K-16.
Standards Translated into Arabic
In order to make the Standards more widely available to Arabic teachers, we have translated the Arabic-related portion of the Standards into Arabic. While we prefer that teachers buy the entire standards in English, we do have a limited number of Arabic Standards which we can give to Arabic teachers. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like us to send you a copy.
How to Order
The NEW 3rd Edition Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century
Revised and including Arabic standards, is now available.
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More information on this publication
The Standards for Learning Arabic K-16 in the United States were developed by the Task Force on Standards for the Learning of Arabic K-16 in 2004-2005 under the sponsorship of the Arabic K-12 Materials Development Project, the National Capital Language Resource Center, the National Standards Collaborative, the American Association of Teachers of Arabic, and the National Middle East Language Resource Center. The Task Force represented teachers, administrators, researchers, and scholars. As part of the development process, the Task Force presented drafts and received comments and feedback at the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages conference (November 2004); at the Council for Islamic Education in America conference (February 2005); and at the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages and the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages in April 2005. The revised draft was also sent to reviewers who provided a great deal of comment on the content. These standards reflect the advice of the participants.
The process of developing standards raises a number of questions that demand answers. Standards are only a road map; they are not to be considered the final statement on what should be taught in a language class. Teachers will need to adapt their teaching to meet the demands and needs of their students. For example, very few schools have a complete K-12 Arabic language program. If an Arabic language program is being introduced in high school, the language that is to be taught at the beginning level will be close to what is listed for Grade 4, and the content will need to be adapted to an older audience. However, the standards are absolutely necessary to give the Arabic language teaching profession a process for planning curriculum and developing assessment tools in accordance with commonly accepted precepts.
The standards contain benchmarks called Sample Progress Indicators. These benchmarks are only samples; they are not intended to be followed blindly. The Task Force encourages users to build on the Sample Progress Indicators and use them to develop learning scenarios that meet the needs of their students. Scenarios have been provided at the end of the Goals that will give users practical ideas on how to build units based on standards.
As the Task Force embarked on developing the standards, members were acutely aware of the fact that there is almost a desperate need for age appropriate and culturally appropriate materials for students learning Arabic in the U.S. The Task Force was also acutely aware that the standards do not produce materials; they are a guide to their development. In addition, there are no assessment instruments to test whether these standards are being met or not. The Task Force expects that the standards will serve as a base for developing curricula, materials and assessment instruments, but is also cognizant that these will take years before they are easily available and that it is up to teachers and program directors to create curricula and materials. The Task Force is also aware that as the standards get used and feedback is provided, there will be changes in subsequent editions.
In summary, the basic approach to these standards is for teachers of Arabic to become familiar with the road map that we are calling the standards; then develop curriculum that will provide the specifics based on the needs and demands of their students and programs, and begin the process of being able to assess how well their students are doing.
The Task Force on Standards for the Learning of Arabic k-16