Building Global Citizens: The Benefits of Teaching Towards Communicative Proficiency in the Foreign Language Classroom

Martha Aguirre, Leah Nillas, Faculty Advisor, Leah A. Nillas

Research output: Faculty Advisor of Undergraduate Research


In the current globalized world, foreign language educators are changing their teaching methods in the classroom. The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACFTL) are recommending teachers to implement a framework that prepares students to be communicatively proficient in a foreign language, rather than solely learning linguistic structures. The ACTFL World Readiness Standards and the ACTFL Performance Descriptors for Learning Languages allows educators to accurately measure student improvement by observing what students can do in real life situations while promoting the use of the target language in meaningful cultural contexts. The purpose of the selfstudy was to identify the benefits of teaching towards communicative proficiency by analyzing how well the standards and ACTFL’s three modes of communication were used in the classroom. Data gathered for this self-study include lessons plans, videos, and student assessment samples. There are many potential challenges when implementing this proficiency framework, but according to research, when implemented correctly, students are able to produce language that is readily available for real-life use.

Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - Apr 8 2017


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