Shared Solutions for Common Problems

Making Languages Commonly Taught!


Language enrollments shift with changing economies, politics, and immigration.  The past 25 years have witnessed a dramatic increase in programs in Less Commonly Taught Languages. Given the challenge of trying to predict the future, as language educators we need to be more united than ever for the benefit of our learners, while increasing the language opportunities for ALL learners at all levels.  How might Less-Commonly-Taught-Languages become more commonly taught?  Learners benefit when programs are consistent in providing WHAT (Standards-based), HOW (communicative learning), and HOW WELL (clear performance expectations) .   Language learners are most motivated when the experience develops useful skills through engagement with authentic resources and tasks. Let’s work to add more languages for more learners and unify around a common focus for our language learners: common goals, common instructional practices, and common assessments.

Jacque Bott Van Houten has a BA, MAT University of Louisville, MAT University of Cincinnati, Ph.D., Miami University of Ohio. Jacque is the 2015 ACTFL president. Prior to her current position as World Language Specialist for Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville, Kentucky, she spent 14 years at the Kentucky Department of Education. She taught language at the K12 and university levels, and teacher preparation classes in Ohio and Kentucky universities, as well as for STARTALK and the College Board Guest Teacher programs. She served as president of NCSSFL and NNELL. Much of her work has focused on LinguaFolio, Can Do learning targets and Interculturality. Jacque was honored with Pearson’s State Supervisor of the Year award, Kentucky World Language Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the French government’s Palmes Académiques and ACTFL’s Florence Steiner award for Leadership in K12 Foreign Language Education