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World Languages in Washington State. Results from the 2004 World Languages Survey for Washington State Caleb Perkins, OSPI and Michele Anciaux Aoki, Washington State Coalition for International Education. What are our goals?. National Standards. What role is the state currently playing?.

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world languages in washington state

World Languages in Washington State

Results from the 2004 World Languages Survey for Washington State

Caleb Perkins, OSPI and Michele Anciaux Aoki,

Washington State Coalition for International Education

what is ospi currently doing
What is OSPI currently doing?
  • Partnerships with Germany, Spain, and Mexico (possibly China)
  • State Transitional Bilingual Program
  • Outreach (e.g. Survey, Voluntary Standards Meeting)
  • Minimal Part of State Educational Reform Legislation (HEC Board, Certification)
survey methodology
Survey Methodology
  • Process
    • May-June 2004
    • Notices sent out to every school and district (via email and letter)
    • WAFLT Follow-up
  • Disclaimers
    • How representative is this sample?
    • How accurate are the responses?
    • What is missing? (e.g. trend data)
rate of return
Rate of Return
  • 431 responses (19.5% of 2,212 schools)
    • 205 Elementary (out of 1,142)
    • 118 Middle Schools/Junior Highs (out of 336)
    • 180 High Schools (out of 321)

(413 other schools: alternative, complete, unclassified)

  • 213 reported NO language programs (42%)
    • 76% Elementary
    • 44% Middle School
    • 16% High School

Note: Some numbers are approximations.

  • 108 (of 296) districts did not respond at all
  • Most ESDs missing 10-15 district responses
  • Low response rate from larger districts (e.g. Seattle, Tacoma, Spokane)
  • High School = 81% of Language Courses
  • Most Popular Language = Spanish
    • Spanish in 96% of high schools
    • French in 67% of high schools
    • German in 42% of high schools
    • Japanese in 25% of high schools
    • Latin, Chinese, Russian: approx 5%
    • Arabic & Native American Languages: <1%
  • 2-year plan: ~90+% offer both 1&2
    • 70% have level 3; 50% have level 4
  • American Sign Language: 28% of high schools; typically only levels 1&2

Note: We do not yet know how representative this sample is

  • 3,867 sections offered (in approx. 431 schools)
  • Spanish: 56% of sections
  • French: 19%
  • German: 11%
  • ASL: 6%
  • Japanese: 5%
  • Chinese: 1%
  • Latin: 1%
  • Russian: 0.6%
  • Arabic: 0.3%
  • Native American Languages: 0.1%
types of language programs
Types of Language Programs
  • 38% = Traditional Classes
  • 14% = Advanced Placement/ International Baccalaureate courses
  • 13% = Study or Travel Abroad
  • 5% = Before or After-School Programs
  • 4% = FLEX
  • 1% = Community-Based Language Learning
  • Number of World Language Teachers = 1,106 (in approx. 431 schools)
  • Number of Teachers with World Language Degree/Endorsement = 1,003
  • Number of Teachers in First 5 Years of Teaching = 255
other information
Other Information
  • Standards
    • Approximately 40% of respondents said that their school or district had developed world language standards
  • Technology
    • The vast majority of world language classrooms have access to a wide variety of technological tools (e.g. internet, digital cameras, cassette players, CD players, video conferencing [45])
types of comments
Types of Comments
  • Professional Development – more and more specific
  • Diversity of Languages
    • Concerns about ASL & Dominance of Spanish
  • Requirements:
    • >2 years
    • K-12 & Earlier
    • Part of Core Curriculum
  • Standards
  • Advocacy – need for voice in Olympia
professional development
Professional Development
  • “My personal belief is that OSPI should promote what is known of language development/brain research and promote early elementary world language instruction, ideally through immersion style approaches”
  • “Provide more opportunities for world language teachers to study abroad”
  • “Serve as a clearinghouse for materials and best practices”
  • “Come to our schools and give us tangible strategies… quick, fun, easy to implement”
professional development part ii topics
Professional Development, Part II - Topics
  • Curriculum materials – how to choose, what’s available
  • Starting a new language or changing languages offered
  • Brain development / language acquisition research
  • Integrating immigrant communities into the curriculum
  • Proficiency training for teachers and teaching methods to use with students
  • Culture ‘capsules’
  • Careers and job opportunities for language students
  • Technology in instruction
  • Trends in state or country regarding world languages
  • Assessment strategies
  • Alignment with university expectations
  • State standards
  • Special problems of small and rural schools
  • Quick, easy-to-use, practical tips
professional development part iii format
Professional Development, Part III - Format
  • Workshops
  • Series of classes, (e.g. UW Spanish Center)
  • Serving Rural Areas
    • Regional Conferences
    • Visiting teaching or cultural ‘experts’ and fluent speakers for rural areas
    • Traveling culture units or live presentations for remote areas
    • Videoconferences for interest groups or same-language rural teachers
  • Live or internet ‘gathering places’ for K-16 teachers to exchange ideas (e.g. listserv)
diversity of languages
Diversity of Languages
  • “A variety of languages should be taught – not just Spanish!!!”
  • “Discourage the false belief that Spanish is somehow easier than other languages”
  • “Try and convince the HEC Board that Sign Language should NOT be considered a ‘world language’ because it lacks the cultural piece that is integral to the teaching of world languages”
  • “OSPI should support WAFLT’s efforts to make language instruction an integral part of a high school education and language education should start at the elementary level as part of every student’s basic education.”
  • “Four-year institutions should require more than 2 years of a world language for admission.”
  • “I strongly believe in immersion.”
  • “OSPI should at least adopt the national standards as its own and thereby at least give some lip service to supporting World Language instruction since money is not likely.”
  • “Create specific standards for the FLEX program.”
voice in olympia
Voice in Olympia
  • “OSPI and WAFLT should play a vital role in getting Olympia to consider language study a requirement for ALL students. I am not sure how, but advocacy needs to be a constant presence until language is supported as a requirement.”
  • “Communicate how well foreign language instruction helps those who take the WASL.”
  • “Please DO NOT advocate mandates that will not be FULLY FUNDED.”
  • “Do this survey on a regular basis and report the trends”
what additional queries should we conduct
What additional queries should we conduct?
  • Specific Schools
    • Which are able to maintain strong language programs and why?
  • Specific Districts
    • Which have a disproportionately low level of language programs?
  • Specific Programs
    • How are most students receiving world language instruction?
follow up interviews
Follow-up Interviews
  • Contact Elementary Schools With Language Programs: How are they making it work?
  • Contact Schools with Level 4+ Language Programs: How do they maintain consistent enrollment?
  • Contact Larger Districts with Low Response Rates
voluntary standards
Voluntary Standards?
  • Nebraska K-12 Frameworks:
    • “The document offers school boards and administrators a rationale and guidelines for planning a fully articulated foreign language education program from kindergarten through twelfth grade.”
    • Learning Scenarios & Sample Assessments
  • New Jersey K-12 Frameworks: model language programs, teacher resources,
future partnerships
Future Partnerships
  • China & Peninsula School District
  • ACE & OSPI – statement on earning credits for after-school programs
  • Adopting Models from Other States
what rationale s resonate
What rationale(s) resonate?
  • Cultural perspectives, understanding, and respect
  • Appreciation of responsibilities in the world community
  • Contribution to businesses & economy
  • Critical-thinking skills through problem solving, conceptualizing, and reasoning
  • Connections between the various disciplines by incorporating other disciplines into the language classroom
  • Skill development essential to the learning process
  • Acquisition of subsequent languages
  • Competitive edge in career choices
  • Enrichment opportunities for students whose heritage language is not English
  • Personal satisfaction and enjoyment
ideas thoughts
Ideas? Thoughts?

Contact Information

  • (360) 725-6351
  • OSPI website:
  • Washington Association For Language Teaching -
  • Washington State Coalition for International Education
  • Michele Anciaux Aoki, PhD (206)