Background on the Revisions of the New York State World Languages (LOTE) Learning Standards
In 2017, New York State (NYS) began a process of review and revision of its current World Languages (LOTE) standards adopted in 1986 and revised in 1996. The New York State World Languages (LOTE) Learning Standards were developed through numerous phases of virtual and face-to-face meetings with committees consisting of NYS World Language educators, parents, students, building and district administrators, college professors and other stakeholders. Revisions, additions, instructional alignment, and clarifications to the current World Language (LOTE) standards reflect the collaborative efforts and expertise of all the above constituents. These standards are the framework for the development of knowledge, skills, and social emotional learning that enables students to transition to being globally competent, literate adults, who can communicate in a World Language in addition to English.
The proposed revisions to the New York State World Languages (LOTE) Standards are based on two sources: Modern Languages for Communication and the World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages. The New York State World Languages (LOTE) Learning Standards were envisioned for K-12 students to demonstrate what they know and are able to do in World Languages using current best practices and research to support local school district and community needs. As a result, the new standards were crafted broadly to provide flexibility for both World Language educators and K-12 students with multiple entry points. Conversely, curriculum is a local school district decision and should not be viewed as such. At the same time, teaching K-12 World Languages in New York State may be unique for a variety of reasons. For example, most schools in our state begin World Language instruction in 7th or 8th grades, however, other schools offer Foreign Language in the Elementary School (FLES) programs starting as early as Pre-K. In addition to traditional World Language programs, there are also Bilingual Programs and Dual Immersion Programs that offer unique environments for students to learn other languages, while reinforcing their skills in English. There are also significant differences among school districts, such as the available facilities, equipment, time allocation to world language study, and many more. Therefore, it is important that the New York State World Language Learning Standards are developmentally appropriate for all students, including students with disabilities and English Language Learners.
The concept of Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education (CR-S) is embedded throughout the new version of the revisions to the World Language Standards. These standards recognize multiple cultural views of teaching, learning and human development in which the expression of diverse perspectives are recognized and regarded as assets for teaching and learning.