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RULE §114.32Discovering Languages and Cultures (One-Half to One Credit), Adopted 2014

(a) General requirements.

  (1) Discovering Languages and Cultures is a non-sequential elective course that can be offered in elementary, middle, or high school. At the high school level, students shall be awarded one-half to one elective credit for successful completion of this course.

  (2) Using age-appropriate activities, students explore a variety of aspects of one or more languages and cultures and/or develop basic language learning and communicative skills.

(b) Introduction.

  (1) The study of world languages is an essential part of education. In the 21st century language classroom, students gain an understanding of two basic aspects of human existence: the nature of communication and the complexity of culture. Students become aware of multiple perspectives and means of expression, which lead to an appreciation of difference and diversity. Further benefits of foreign language study include stronger cognitive development, increased creativity, and divergent thinking. Students who effectively communicate in more than one language, with an appropriate understanding of cultural context, are globally literate and possess the attributes of successful participants in the world community.

  (2) Communication is the overarching goal of world language instruction. Students should be provided ample opportunities to engage in conversations, to present information to an audience, and to interpret culturally authentic materials in the language of study. The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) identifies three modes of communication: interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational.

    (A) In the interpersonal mode of communication, students engage in direct oral or written communication with others. Examples of this "two-way" communication include but are not limited to conversing face to face, participating in digital discussions and messaging, and exchanging personal letters.

    (B) In the interpretive mode of communication, students demonstrate understanding of spoken and written communication within appropriate cultural contexts. Examples of this type of "one-way" reading or listening include but are not limited to comprehension of digital texts as well as print, audio, and audiovisual materials.

    (C) In the presentational mode of communication, students present orally or in writing information, concepts, and ideas to an audience of listeners or readers with whom there is no immediate interaction. Examples of this "one-to-many" mode of communication include but are not limited to presenting to a group; creating and posting digital content; or writing reports, compositions, or articles for a magazine or newspaper.

  (3) The use of age-level appropriate and culturally authentic resources is imperative to support the teaching of the essential knowledge and skills for languages other than English (LOTE). The use of culturally authentic resources in world language study enables students to make connections with other content areas, to compare the language and culture studied with their own, and to participate in local and global communities.

  (4) Discovery courses in LOTE allow the student to explore other languages and cultures. The student demonstrates an understanding of the elements of language(s), demonstrates an understanding of cultures, and develops effective language study skills. ACTFL has established guidelines for proficiency levels that are used as a basis for the Texas essential knowledge and skills for LOTE. ACTFL has identified national standards in the Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century (the five C's of foreign language education). These standards describe the "what" (content) of world languages learning and form the core standards-based instruction in the world languages classroom.

  (5) Statements containing the word "including" reference content that must be mastered, while those containing the phrase "such as" are intended as possible illustrative examples.

(c) Knowledge and skills.

  (1) The student demonstrates an understanding of the elements of language(s). The student is expected to:

    (A) engage in different types of language learning activities;

    (B) compare and contrast aspects of other languages to English and the student's native language; and

    (C) apply basic communication skills in the target language(s), including listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

  (2) The student demonstrates an understanding of cultures. The student is expected to:

    (A) identify and describe cultural practices in selected regions or countries;

    (B) recognize the cultural products such as art, music, food, clothing, or other culturally related examples in selected regions or countries; and

    (C) compare and contrast aspects of other cultures to the student's own culture.

  (3) The student develops effective language study skills. The student is expected to:

    (A) engage in a variety of language learning strategies such as identifying cognates and recognizing word origins; and

    (B) demonstrate an awareness of language patterns such as word/character order, grammatical structures, and symbols.

Source Note: The provisions of this §114.32 adopted to be effective July 15, 2014, 39 TexReg 5385

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