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Introduction to Foreign Language Education

Welcome to the Foreign Language Education website for the Department of Modern Languages and Classics at Ball State University. The purpose of this website is to provide you with the information, resources, and contacts that you will need to successfully complete your foreign language teaching major and prepare to enter the teaching profession.

The site has four primary sections:

  • Important Information
  • Principles and Standards
  • Resources
  • Organizations

The important information section highlights recent news and events, lists upcoming deadlines for decision points, exams, and professional development opportunitites, and provides links to the foreign language teaching major advisors as well as various teaching major handbooks.

The Principles and Standards section contains information on and links for the INTASC Principles, the DPS Standards, the Indiana Academic Standards, the ISTE Technology Standards, and the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines and Standards. It is essential that teacher candidates familiarize themselves with the various standards and principles. Initial licensure as a foreign language teacher is dependent upon the candidate's ability to demonstrate both knowledge of and competence with the various standards and principles. Additionally, the INTASC Principles and the DPS Standards will serve as the basis for candidates' digitial portfolios.

  • INTASC Principles - Teaching candidates are required to demonstrate their understanding of the INTASC Principles through performance based tasks, self-reflections, and appropriate artifacts.
  • DPS Standards - The Division of Professional Standards has outlined requirements for individuals seeking licensure as foreign language teachers in the state of Indiana. While these standards are similar to the INTASC Principles there is not a one to one correspondence. Teacher candidates are to be familiar with both the INTASC Principles and the DPS Standards.
  • Indiana Academic Standards for Foreign Languages - The State Department of Education, Office of Program Development has a site with detailed descriptions of the standards and a guide for implementing the standards in K-12 classrooms.
    ISTE Standards - Standards regarding the use of technology in education.
  • ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines - Proficiency guidelines developed by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. The guidelines represent learners' proficiency levels in the four main skill areas (i.e. reading, writing, listening comprehension, and speaking). Many university and K-12 language programs utilize the guidelines to gauge foreign language learners.
  • ACTFL Standards for Foreign Language Learning (The Five Cs) - Content standards, what students should know and be able to do in the target language. The 5 Cs are: Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities.

The Resources section serves as a starting point to access various human and electronic resources. Assistance on a variety of topics such as lesson plans, classroom management, digital portfolio development, and current topics and issues in education is accessible here.

  • Teaching Resources - This section provides useful links to a number of websites that contain lesson plans, teaching materials, teaching tips, etc. There are also a number of links to language specific websites.
  • Teacher Education Resources - Here you will find links to important teacher education information such as the conceptual framework, the digital portfolio model, the professional growth plan, etc.
  • Technology Resources - Provides links to online training modules for computer-related hardware and software issues (e.g. Netscape Composer, FrontPage, scanning, digital audio/video, etc.).
  • Sample Digital Portfolios - Examine a number of digital portfolios created by other Ball State students.

The Organizations section lists numerous national, state, and local foreign language associations, affiliations, and conferences. Foreign language teaching majors are encouraged to participate actively in the appropriate language organizations both locally and nationally.