Johnny Key

Commissioner of Education

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A Division of the Arkansas Department of Education

World Languages Standards and Courses

2013 Arkansas Foreign Language Frameworks
(valid until June 30, 2020)

The current Arkansas Foreign Language frameworks were created in 2013. K-8 Foreign Language Experiences is designed for most elementary and middle schools; these standards can be tied into the social studies curriculum by any classroom teacher. K-8 Foreign Language Acquisition is for elementary and middle schools that have designated foreign language teachers.  Modern Languages I-IV replaced the previous Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish frameworks.  American Sign Language (ASL) is now recognized in Arkansas for foreign language credit, and its framework document is based on the Modern Language framework.  Spanish for Heritage and Native Speakers is an option for schools that wish to tailor a class to students who speak Spanish at home or with their families. Latin I-II is for schools that offer Latin.  As of July 1, 2014, these documents replace and supersede all previous foreign language framework documents.

  • K-8 Foreign Language Experiences (PDF/DOCX)
  • K-8 Foreign Language Acquisition (PDF/DOCX)
  • Modern Languages I-IV (PDF/DOCX)
  • American Sign Language (PDF/DOCX)
  • Spanish for Heritage and Native Speakers I-III (PDF/DOCX)
  • Latin I-II (PDF/DOCX)

2018 Arkansas World Languages Standards

During the summer of 2018, the new Arkansas World Languages Standards were created by a committee of teachers from around the state.  These new standards were approved by the State Board of Education on May 9, 2019. They are available for voluntary implementation for the 2019-2020 school year, and will be fully implemented by all districts for the 2020-2021 school year, completely replacing the 2013 frameworks. Each new standards document and a brief description can be found below.

Arkansas World Languages Standards K-12 (PDF/DOCX)

This document is intended for use with World Languages I-IV (i.e., Spanish I-IV, French I-IV, etc.), Heritage and Native Speakers I-III, and Early Childhood and Elementary programs. The previous framework documents for Heritage and Native Speakers I-III, American Sign Language I-IV, and K-8 Foreign Language Acquisition have been consolidated with Modern Languages I-IV to create the new Arkansas K-12 World Language Acquisition Standards; therefore, these standards are applicable for all grade and proficiency levels. 

Content-Based Language Courses (PDF/DOCX)

These courses are designed to teach academic subject matter through a target language, such that students learn academic content and language skills simultaneously. These standards are designed for embedded courses; in other words, combining an academic course that already exists with a target language for dual credit in world language and a content area (e.g., Spanish Biology, French Art History, German Physical Education). Embedded courses require course approval from DESE and from the State Board of Education. See the Course Approvals page for more information about the course approval process, information, and deadlines.

Language for Specific Purposes Courses (PDF/DOCX)

These courses help students gain linguistic and cultural skills necessary in a specific career field (e.g., Spanish for Law Enforcement, Chinese for Business, etc.).  These courses may be taught by anyone licensed to teach that specific language, with no additional licensure requirements. Likewise, course approval is not required to offer these courses. See the Course Code Management System for an updated list of available course codes.

Special Interest Language Courses (PDF/DOCX)

These courses allow students to develop skills by doing tasks and activities in the target language.  Rather than being based on academic content (like the Content-Based Instruction courses) or focused on a career (like Specific-Purposes courses), these courses are built around special interests (e.g., Spanish Service Learning, French Yoga, German Tabletop Games, Chinese Cinema, etc.). These courses may be taught by anyone licensed to teach that specific language, with no additional licensure requirements.  Course approval is not required to offer these courses. See the Course Code Management System for an updated list of available course codes.

Classical Languages (PDF/DOCX)

These standards are to be used for Latin courses, and provide an introduction to the language, history, and culture of ancient civilizations. Basic instruction in grammar, vocabulary, and syntax prepares the student for reading and discussing selected works by ancient authors. Classical Languages II continues the introduction to classical languages with additional instruction in vocabulary, grammar, and more complex syntax. Reading and translating selections from ancient works builds comprehension ability. The Classical Languages II course includes advanced discussions of ancient life and culture. Division of Elementary and Secondary Education approval is not required.  Courses in classical languages other than Latin would require course approval from the DESE.

For more information, please contact:

Thomas Coy, Humanities Unit Director
Curriculum Support
Arkansas Department of Education
Division of Elementary and Secondary Education
Four Capitol Mall, Room 202-B
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone: 501-682-7442

State Standards

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