High School German/Scope and Sequence

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Reasons for Design[edit | edit source]

As a beginning language teacher, the most difficult part of teaching a foreign language is knowing where to start, how long to spend on each concept, and how to get kids “where they need to go.” Educators need a framework for teaching German in a traditional High School setting (4-years of language before college), that prepares and excites students for future language studies.

One goal of the project is to create an American high school level language curriculum that is relevant for students who hope to continue their learning sequence in a German speaking country. As there is currently no “unifying guideline” for ACTFL and CEFR standards, our project will attempt to amalgamate the two standards in order to create language learners who are prepared for a global future.

Another major component of this is rewarding students for achievement in language over four years. While guidelines supplied by ACTFL and state standards suggest a 5-6 year curriculum to achieve the Seal of Biliteracy, many of us do not have the ability to add years to our curriculum. As such, I feel that it should be our goal to create a 4 year curriculum with an expressed purpose of making the Seal of Biliteracy a potential outcome to motivated students. The curriculum will be created to prepare students from day one for certification exams such as AP, AAPPL, and DSDI.

Part of the design will be being explicit in our text’s connection to the standards. The language used will mirror that of ACTFL, CEFR, and the College Board in order for teachers and students to have a shared understanding of what is expected of them.

The project should be seen as the logical extension of previous resource sharing efforts by German teachers such as “AATG Listserv Fans” or nthuleen.com. Unique to this project is a cycle of continuous improvement. The body of the project will be in a state of constant revision to address the most recent consensus in language teaching pedagogy, with the hope that the project fosters an environment of “reflective scholarship” among German teachers.

Curriculum Scope and Sequence[edit | edit source]

As CEFR Evaluations have become widely accepted as the European standard for grading an individual's language proficiency and most professional expectations for German speakers rely on the CEFR Reference levels (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2) this course will explicitly use CEFR levels to describe ability, while using ACTFL standards to establish an appropriate pace for the High School classroom.

Proficiency and Research Based Targets[edit | edit source]

According to ACTFL, an appropriate range of language performance for students who complete 4 years of foreign language is somewhere between the Intermediate Low and Intermediate Mid range [1]

The state of Ohio codified their expectations for Grades 9-12 German Speakers using these Proficiency Targets which are as follows:

ACTFL Proficiency Targets
Mode and Skill Level I (135-150 hrs) Level II (270-300 hrs) Level III (405-450) Level IV (540-600 hrs) Level V (675-750 hrs)
Interpretive Listening Novice Mid Novice Mid Int. Low Int. Mid Int. High
Interpretive Reading Novice Mid Novice Mid Int. Low Int. Mid Int. Mid - High
Interpersonal Speaking Novice Mid Novice Mid Int. Low Int. Mid Int. High
Presentational Speaking Novice Low - Mid Novice Mid - High Novice High - Int. Low Int. Mid Int. High
Presenational Writing Novice Mid Novice Mid Int. Low Int. Mid Int. High

Using ACTFL's Document Assigning CEFR Ratings to ACTFL Assessments we can then get a rough estimate of how an American High School course should be paced when using CEFR materials

CEFR Proficiency Targets
Mode and Skill Level I (135-150 hrs) Level II (270-300 hrs) Level III (405-450) Level IV (540-600 hrs) Level V (675-750 hrs)
Interpretive Listening 0 A1.1 A1.2 A2 B1.1
Interpretive Reading 0 A1.1 A1.2 A2 A2 - B1.1
Interpersonal Speaking 0 A1 A2 B1.1 B1.2
Presentational Speaking 0 0 - A1 A1 - A2 A2 - B1.1 B1.1
Presenational Writing 0 A1 A2 B1.1 B1.1

Proposed Pace[edit | edit source]

When considering the Seal of Biliteracy requirements, as well as the A2 language requirement necessary to enter many German universities on a language provision, it would seem in the best interest of students to complete the coursework at the proposed pace, which is slightly accelerated from the ACTFL guidelines:

Proposed Pace
Level I (135-150 hrs) Level II (270-300 hrs) Level III (405-450) Level IV/AP (540-600 hrs)
Novice High / A1 Intermediate Low / A2.1 Intermediate Low / A2.2 Intermediate High / B1.1
  1. performancedescriptorslanguagelearners.pdf: ACTFL Performance Descriptors for Language Learners - performancedescriptorslanguagelearners.pdf, accessdate: July 27, 2020