World Languages Review 2020

Review Details

Writing Team Members

Jonna Bouré, French and Spanish Teacher at Caribou High School, RSU 39

Andrea Groft, Spanish Teacher at Marshwood High School, MSAD 35

Jackie Ogden, French Teacher at Belfast Area High School, RSU 71

Taylor Poulin, French Teacher at Massabesic High School, RSU 57

Erin Taylor, Latin Teacher at Freeport High School, RSU 5

Amy Axe, Latin Teacher at Marshwood High School, RSU 35

Stephanie Carbonneau, French Teacher at York Middle School, York School Department

Teresa Brzustowicz, French Teacher at MSAD 46

Kathryn Larson, American Sign Language Teacher at MSAD 15

Wendy Morrill, Spanish Teacher at MSAD 58

Rebecca Manchester, Latin Teacher at MSAD 6

Joanna Snell, Spanish Teacher at RSU 9

Celina Page, Spanish Teacher at RSU 2

Steering Committee Guidance to the Writing Team

Download Guidance Document

Steering Committee Work Session Summary

January 30, 2020: The Steering Committee began by developing its understanding of the standards revision process and the role of the Steering Committee, as well as the requirements in the structure and components of the Maine Learning Results (MLRs), including strands, standards, and performance expectations. An explanation was provided of the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) Analysis protocol, which would be used to analyze the current MLRs for World Languages. Steering Committee members then engaged in a whip-around discussion protocol that permitted each member to express his/her thoughts regarding the overall strengths of the current MLRs. Trends were then discerned and discussed.


March 12, 2020: Steering Committee members reviewed public comment and discussed the issues raised that may need to be addressed in the Steering Committee’s guidance to the Writing Team. A major issue that emerged and was discussed in-depth was the approach to inclusion of language proficiency levels in addition to grade levels. The consensus of the Steering Committee was that providing language proficiency levels would allow for multiple entry points, enabling teachers to apply standards to their instruction that align with their students’ current levels. The Steering Committee then began to engage in the SWOT Analysis of Strand A of the current MLRs, determining which elements should be retained, removed, or adjusted.


March 19, 2020: The Steering Committee continued the SWOT Analysis protocol, with a focus on Strand A and moving on to Strand B. Major points of discussion included alignment to the ACTFL World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages, differentiation between language types (modern, classical, and signed), and inclusion of multiple cultures. The Steering Committee determined that inclusive language, recognizing the variety of cultures that exist within a given language community, would be necessary in the proposed MLRs. It was decided that the MLRs would be drawn from the 11 ACTFL World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages, and the performance expectations would be based on the ACTFL-NCSSFL Can-Do Statements.


May 1, 2020: The Steering Committee continued the SWOT Analysis protocol, focusing on Strands C and D. Consistent with discussions around Strands A and B, the Steering Committee determined that greater alignment to the ACTFL World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages was needed, as well as an intentional focus on authentic materials and connecting academic content to language learning. The Steering Committee discussed whether it would be best to provide a list of sources/types of authentic materials or to remain broad for greater instructional flexibility. It was decided that the NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements for intercultural communication would serve as the basis for performance expectations for Strands B, C, and D.


May 27, 2020: The Steering Committee worked to synthesize the SWOT Analysis findings into its ultimate guidance for the Writing Team. Guidance for the Introduction, Strand A, and Strand B was completed. The Steering Committee determined that these two standards would be brought into greater alignment with ACTFL, moving Language Comparisons and Comparisons with Own Culture to a separate strand for Comparisons.


March 15, 2021: At this final convening, the Steering Committee finalized its guidance on Strands C and D and offered its final thoughts on all the recommendations to be provided to the Writing Team. With its recommendation to add language proficiency levels to the MLR document, it was determined that the ultimate proficiency level goal for a K-12 World Languages course of study would be Advanced Low, and the performance expectations should be structured to reflect this. It was also confirmed that the primary guidance for the Writing Team would be to incorporate as much alignment to the ACTFL World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages as possible within the MLR framework. This would entail restructuring the current MLRs’ four strands and ten standards into five strands and eleven standards. The Steering Committee also confirmed that the NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements would serve as the basis for the MLR performance expectations.


July 7, 2021: During the Writing Team’s process, a few key requests for clarification were brought forth. The Steering Committee members were asked to provide responses by email to clarify items within the guidance. Specifically, the Writing Team requested clarification as to the Steering Committee’s direction on designing performance expectations based on the NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements, while also directing the Writing Team to maintain the differentiation between modern and classical languages that exists in the current MLRs. The Steering Committee members who responded to this request were in unanimous agreement that the intention of the Steering Committee was for the performance expectations to remain broad and general and that approaches to differentiation should be explained in supplemental resources. This was to maintain alignment with ACTFL resources to the greatest extent possible, allow for instructional flexibility, and to remain as inclusive and universally-applicable as possible. Additional clarification included that the same intercultural communication can-do statements may appear within multiple standards, that the five strands and eleven standards of ACTFL should be reflected in the MLRs, and that performance expectations should remain broad and general.

Steering Committee Members

Gretchen McNulty, Interim Superintendent of Falmouth School Department

Julie Speno, Spanish Teacher at Camden-Rockport Elementary School, Five Town CSD

Gail Carlson, American Sign Language Teacher

Ross Shaler, Latin Teacher at Freeport High School, RSU 5

Lou Goscinski, Superintendent of York School Department

Deb Backman, German Teacher at Cony Middle/High School, Augusta School Department

Jing Zhang, Director of Bangor Chinese School and the Chinese Language and Culture Center of Maine

André Siamundele, French Professor at the University of Maine at Farmington

Clarissa Thompson, Professor of Secondary Education and English Education at the University of Maine at Farmington

Stephen Farrand, Latin Teacher at Maine Coast Semester, Chewonki

Emily Bowen, French Teacher at Hall-Dale High School, RSU 2

Jane Smith, Former French Professor and Chair of Modern Languages & Classics at the University of Maine

Diane Hammond-Michaud, French Teacher at MSAD 24

Nancy Stevens, Former French Teacher at York School Department

Fern Desjardins, Maine State Board of Education Chairperson

Newell Lewey, Adjunct Lecturer in Passamaquoddy at the University of Maine at Machias

John Dennis, Cultural Director, Aroostook Band of Micmacs


Public Comment Submitted to Maine DOE

Bisbee, Dana - (PDF)

Szava-Kovats, Susan - (PDF)

Carver, Bruce - (PDF)

Schuiling, Marisue - (PDF)

Fortier, Bernard - (PDF)

Butler, Paul - (PDF)

Williamson, Dustin - (PDF)

Bowen, Emily - (PDF)

Shaler, Ross - (PDF)

Jackins, Crystal - (PDF)

Carbonneau, Stephanie - (PDF)

Stebbins, Justin - (PDF)

Boure, Jonna - (PDF)

Gwyther, Alison - (PDF)

Jensen, Amber - (PDF)

Knights, Nicole - (PDF)