The State Of K 12 Foreign Language Instruction Essay

The State Of K 12 Foreign Language Instruction Essay

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When discussing improvements regarding world language instruction, it usually ends with pressing the government to find a way to increase education funds for better and earlier world language instruction to students. “In light of these concerns, educators and policy makers need up-to-date, detailed information about the state of K-12 foreign language instruction in the United States. In 2008, the Center for Applied Linguistics surveyed more than 5,000 public and private schools to gather data for both national and regional profiles of foreign language instruction” (Pufah and Rhodes, 2011, p 259). According to Pufah and Rhodes (2011) the results of this survey displayed a decrease in world language instruction in elementary schools when compared to the last decade, (from 25% to 15% in public school). A similar scenario appears at the Middle school level; it went from 75% to 58%, while in high schools the phenomenon increased from 90% to 91%. Some of the reported causes for the decrease in world language instruction in middle and elementary schools included the lack of funding, decision-making at the district level, world languages not seen as a core component, and shortage of world language teachers. The survey also displayed Spanish as the most popular world language offered in elementary, middle and high school levels. The data showed that world language is not seen as core subject, and consequently, the support to world language instruction in elementary and middle school ceases. However, the small increase of world language at the high school level may be due to it being a graduation requirement, in some states, rather than improving instruction.
Second, another problem to discuss is the shortage of highly qualified world lan...

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...rld language proficiency achievement. The effort teachers have to display, to instruct students under this condition, is enormous. Likewise, Peyton (1997) argues that world language teachers are challenged to accommodate different students’ learning styles. Therefore, the approach to reach these needs will depend on the appropriate curriculum and method teachers utilize during class instruction. According to Padilla (1988) world language students start losing some language knowledge as soon as formal learning instruction ceases. Students need to continue reinforcing the concepts learned in class outside the school. With the right parental support, world language students can easily reach proficiency but in adverse circumstances the opposite outcome will appear. It is important to provide students all possible resources and approaches to support the target language.

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