Last week I published here ACTFL’s position that the target language be used 90% plus of the time in the classroom. Here is that link:
Since then, Diana Noonan has sent me a highlighted version of the same text. It points to a few other sentences that may have escaped our attention, since we were focused on the 90% thing in that other post. I find what Diana pointed to below to be very, very important, in that the wording represents (I interpret it as) a pretty complete endorsement of Krashen by ACTFL. I will categorize the text below under the “ACTFL 90%” category. It is a text that most of our traditional colleagues would be very happy to keep in the shadows of all foreign language pedagogy discussions. The part that Diana highlighted is underlined:
Use of the Target Language in the Classroom
Members-Only – ACTFL Position Statements
Position Statement on Use of the Target Language in the Classroom
Research indicates that effective language instruction must provide significant levels of meaningful communication* and interactive feedback in the target language in order for students to develop language and cultural proficiency. The pivotal role of target-language interaction in language learning is emphasized in the K-16 Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century. ACTFL therefore recommends that language educators and their students use the target language as exclusively as possible (90% plus) at all levels of instruction during instructional time and, when feasible, beyond the classroom. In classrooms that feature maximum target-language use, instructors use a variety of strategies to facilitate comprehension and support meaning making. For example, they:
1. provide comprehensible input that is directed toward communicative goals;
2. make meaning clear through body language, gestures, and visual support;
3. conduct comprehension checks to ensure understanding;
4. negotiate meaning with students and encourage negotiation among students;
5. elicit talk that increases in fluency, accuracy, and complexity over time;
6. encourage self-expression and spontaneous use of language;
7. teach students strategies for requesting clarification and assistance when faced with comprehension difficulties; and
8. offer feedback to assist and improve students’ ability to interact orally in the target language.
*Communication for a classical language refers to an emphasis on reading ability and for American Sign Language (ASL) to signed communicative ability.
Approved by the ACTFL Board of Directors 5-22-10