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
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What are
our goals?
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National Standards
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What role is the state
currently playing?
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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)

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THE
SPRING 2004
SURVEY
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How was the data
gathered?
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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)
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What did we learn?
- Initial Data
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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.
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Missing!
 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)
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Trends


High School = 81% of Language Courses
Most Popular Language = Spanish
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–
–
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–
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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
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Note: We do not yet know how representative this sample is
2-year Plan?
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Sections

3,867 sections offered (in approx. 431
schools)
 Spanish:
56% of sections
French: 19%
 German: 11%
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ASL: 6%
Japanese: 5%
Chinese: 1%
Latin: 1%
Russian: 0.6%
Arabic: 0.3%
Native American Languages: 0.1%
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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

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Employment
 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
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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])
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What were the
comments? Issues & Priorities
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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

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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”

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Professional Development,
Part II - Topics
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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
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Professional Development,
Part III - Format

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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 samelanguage rural teachers

Live or internet ‘gathering places’ for K-16
teachers to exchange ideas (e.g. listserv)
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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”

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Requirements
“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.”

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Standards
“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.”
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Voice in Olympia
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“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”
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What would you like
to know?
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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?
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What are some next
steps to take?
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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
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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,
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Future Partnerships
China & Peninsula School District
 ACE & OSPI – statement on earning
credits for after-school programs
 Adopting Models from Other States
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What rationale(s) resonate?
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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
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Ideas? Thoughts?
Contact Information
 [email protected] (360) 725-6351
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OSPI website:
www.k12.wa.us/curriculuminstruct/socstudies/World
Languages
Washington Association For Language Teaching
- waflt.net
Washington State Coalition for International
Education http://internationaledwa.org
Michele Anciaux Aoki, PhD (206) 522-0608
[email protected]
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Washington State World Language Survey