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1 National K-12 Foreign Language Survey Preliminary Results Title VI 50 th Anniversary Conference U.S. Department of Education Nancy Rhodes Ingrid Pufahl.

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Presentation on theme: "1 National K-12 Foreign Language Survey Preliminary Results Title VI 50 th Anniversary Conference U.S. Department of Education Nancy Rhodes Ingrid Pufahl."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 National K-12 Foreign Language Survey Preliminary Results Title VI 50 th Anniversary Conference U.S. Department of Education Nancy Rhodes Ingrid Pufahl Center for Applied Linguistics Photo: Center for Democratic Studies, University of Haifa, Israel

2 2 Background  Survey conducted  Goal: Collect comprehensive data on foreign language instruction in elementary and secondary schools  Focus on national and regional data (not state data)‏  Replicate 1987 and 1997 surveys

3 3 Sample Selection  Stratified random sample includes 5,115 public and private elementary and secondary schools  Sample representative of all U.S. schools  Stratification: --public/private-- urban/suburban/rural --school size-- geographical region --SES-- minority enrollment  Random: Each school in the subgroups had an equal probability of being selected

4 4 Methodology  4-page questionnaires; separate questionnaire for elementary and secondary schools (20-21 questions)‏  Superintendents were notified of survey  Principals and FL teachers were given option: respond online or in paper copy

5 5 Response Rate  76% response rate

6 6 US Elementary Schools Teaching Foreign Languages (Public, Private, Total) (1987, 1997, 2008)‏

7 7 US Middle and High Schools Teaching Foreign Languages (Total) (1987, 1997, 2008)‏

8 8 Foreign Languages Offered by Secondary Schools With Foreign Language Programs (1997, 2008)

9 9 Foreign Languages Offered by Elementary Schools With Foreign Language Programs (1997, 2008)

10 10 Foreign Language Instruction in Public Elementary Schools in the U.S. (2008)

11 11 Use of National Foreign Language Standards in Elementary and Secondary Schools With Language Programs (1997, 2008)

12 12 Foreign Language Use in Secondary School Language Classrooms (1987, 1997, 2008)

13 13 NCLB: Influence on Foreign Language Instruction in Public Schools Approximately one third of elementary and secondary schools reported that FL instruction had been affected negatively by NCLB:  Mostly rural schools  Mostly high minority schools  Mostly low to mid SES schools

14 14 Reasons for Decline in Elementary FL  Budget cuts  Shortage of teachers  Constraints of NCLB

15 15 Funding/Budget Cuts: Comments  “I really don’t think [we can offer FL]. Spanish teaching stopped 2 years ago due to budget cuts (in the millions). Over teachers in the district might not have jobs next year due to the deficit.” (CA public elementary school)  “County is going to begin to switch over to foreign language teaching, but school has to wait for the computer teacher to retire.” (VA public elementary school)

16 16 Shortage of Teachers: Comments  “Absolutely! We would not be subcontracting out to a private language school for our teacher if there were qualified teachers available.” (Public elementary school)  “It’s difficult to find teachers certified for elementary school [who are] French native- like speakers.” (Public elementary school)  “We taught Spanish for 2 years, lost the teacher, and will teach again if a new teacher is found.” (Illinois private elementary school)

17 17 NCLB: Comments  “Funds and time have been directed to reading and math. In some cases, we pull students from foreign language and other non-tested content classes in order to provide more extensive reading and math support.” (Public elementary school)  “High stakes testing which does not include World Languages makes it impossible to get additional time for our elementary [language] program. Schools are more focused on the subjects that are tested.” (Public elementary school)

18 18 The Lighter Side  Is your school planning to offer FL instruction in the next 2 years? “What we do is that we offer foreign language as an elective, but no one has elected it.” (Private K-12 New Mexico school with small enrollment).

19 19 Key Findings  Decrease in public elementary and middle schools teaching languages  Decrease in % of schools teaching languages other than Spanish  Shortage of teachers  Increase in Chinese and Arabic  Increase in the use of language standards and target language in classroom

20 20 iGracias!


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