HomeGlossary of Language Program Terms

Glossary of Language Program Terms


Glossary of Language Program Terms

50/50 program An immersion program where approximately 50 percent of the school day and the curriculum is taught in the target language, and the other 50 percent is taught in English.
90/10 program An immersion program where approximately 90 percent of the school day and the curriculum is taught in the target language, and the other 10 percent is taught in English.
articulated language program A sequence of courses, aligned to proficiency goals, which ensure continuity, frequency, and appropriate intensity over an extended period of time and transition from one level or grade to the next.
assessment A collection of data and information on student progress toward language learning outcomes. An evaluation given periodically to determine what students know and can do at a particular point in time.
authentic resources Materials and resources that have been created for and by native speakers of the language and that have been derived by the target culture; items not created or edited expressly for language learners. Sometimes referred to as realia.
bilingual education An umbrella term for many types of programs in which two languages are used for instruction. Typically, bilingual programs are partial-immersion programs focused on providing English language (L2) development for speakers of languages other than English, while maintaining the students’ home language (L1).
content-based instruction or program Language programs that combine teaching content from a curriculum area with explicit teaching of the target language; a program based on teaching the regular school curriculum in the target language rather than teaching the language only as a separate subject.
cultural competence The ability to interact effectively with people of different cultures.
critical languages Less commonly taught languages considered by the U.S. government to be essential for diplomatic and/or economic relations. Also known as critical need languages.
dual language immersion Also known as partial-immersion, two-way immersion. See immersion programs.
Foreign Language in the Elementary School (FLES) A language program typically found in elementary schools organized around a scope and sequence focused on developing language proficiency with an emphasis on oral skills, but additionally providing gradual introduction to literacy. Individual districts design programs with a mix of content-based instruction and language-focused instruction.
Foreign Language Exploratory Program (FLEX) A FLEX program focuses on cultural awareness and building speaking and listening competencies in the target language.
global competency skills Students possessing these skills can: investigate the world beyond their immediate environment; recognize their own and others’ perspective; communicate their ideas effectively with diverse audiences; and translate their ideas and findings into appropriate actions to improve conditions.
heritage speakers Students who are exposed to a language other than English at home. Such students have varying degrees of language competence in reading and writing as well as in speaking and listening.
interculturality The interaction of people from different cultural backgrounds using language appropriately but also demonstrating knowledge and understanding of the target language culture.
immersion programs Elementary or middle-school language programs which teach general academic content in the target language, where language proficiency is a parallel outcome. The target language is the medium for content instruction rather than the subject of the instruction. Literacy in both the native and target languages are developed in parallel. Individual districts design programs with specific but differing percentages of English and target language instruction in a school day or week. Also known as dual language immersion, partial immersion, two-way immersion.
L1 A speaker’s first language; also called the native language.
L2 A speaker’s second language. See target language.
learning outcome What the learner will know and be able to do by the end of a unit or course, as measured by an evidence-producing assessment.
less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) Any language represented less regularly in U.S. K-12 language programs. A distinguishing term to set these languages apart from more commonly taught languages such as Spanish or French, among others.
native speakers Students who consider the target language to be their first language (L1).  They tend to be biliterate as well as bilingual and to use the language extensively outside the classroom.
partial-immersion Also known as dual immersion. See immersion programs.
pedagogy A range of approaches that lead to quality language teaching; strategies or behaviors taught by instructors and used by language learners to enhance the acquisition, storage, retention, recall, and use of new information.
performance The ability to use language that has been learned and practiced in an instructional setting. Language ability that has been practiced and is within familiar contexts and content areas.
proficiency The ability to use language in real-world situations, spontaneous interactions, and unrehearsed contexts.
proficiency-based curriculum A purposeful series of learning episodes centered around proficiency, where vocabulary and grammar are not taught in isolation but rather as tools to accomplish communicative goals in particular settings on particular subjects.
proficiency target Reasonable expectations of language use for assessment at different levels of study.
target language The language being studied; the second language (L2).
target language teaching Language instruction in a classroom context where the instructor is the main provider of the target language. Students are given consistent exposure to comprehensible oral input, as well as opportunities to speak and use the language themselves.
two-way immersion Also known as dual immersion. See immersion programs.



Annenberg Learner.  Teaching Foreign Languages K-12:  A Library of Classroom Practices.  Glossary. https://www.learner.org/libraries/tfl/key_terms.html.

Ohio Department of Education.  Glossary of Terms. https://education.ohio.gov/getattachment/Topics/Ohio-s-New-Learning-Standards/Foreign-Language/World-Languages-Model-Curriculum/World-Languages-Model-Curriculum-Framework/Introduction-to-Learning-Standards/Glossary_of_Terms_MCwebsite.pdf.aspx.

Teton County School District No. 1. “What is Dual Immersion?” http://www.tcsd.org/education/components/faq/faq.php?sectiondetailid=16224.

Virginia Department of Education.  Glossary of Terms in the Foreign Language Standards of Learning for Virginia Public Schools.  2013. http://www.doe.virginia.gov/instruction/foreign_language/guide/glossary_of_terms.pdf.