The Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) has been actively involved in a number of projects that have focused on the articulation of language instruction using a proficiency-oriented approach to language instruction and assessment. These projects have included the Minnesota Articulation Project, the Proficiency-Oriented Language Instruction and Assessment Train-the-Trainer Program, and the Critical Languages Articulation Project, all of which worked with practicing teachers to create and use resources for teachers that are currently available nationally through CARLA.
This statewide initiative involved second language K-12 teachers, second language faculty from colleges and universities, and second language researchers from the University of Minnesota collaborating on the development of a model for articulating French, German, and Spanish curricular strategies and outcomes across all levels of instruction and systems in Minnesota. The project resulted in the publication of the Proficiency-Oriented Language Instruction and Assessment: A Curriculum Handbook for Teachers, and the Minnesota Language Proficiency Assessments.
This handbook is designed to provide world language teachers with the background knowledge, ideas, and resources for implementing proficiency-oriented language instruction and classroom-based performance measures into their curriculum. Tied to the national Standards for Foreign Language Education, the Handbook gives teachers a solid foundation of the principles and practices that are central to standards-based and proficiency-oriented language instruction and assessment. The Handbook gives teachers a wide variety of tasks and activities to use in the classroom along with ideas for adapting these activities for different levels and languages and longer curricular packages.
Two year-long cycles of the POLIA program provided intensive professional development for fifty language teachers on the principles and practices related to proficiency-oriented language instruction and assessment and how they are integrated with the state and national language standards. The program prepared these teachers to become POLIA trainers in their own right who subsequently offered workshops to over 700 language teachers across Minnesota and in other states around the country.
This articulation effort focused on developing models for articulating curriculum for teachers of Japanese and Russian within the Minneapolis Public Schools system. The teachers involved in the project produced curriculum frameworks for K-12 Japanese and Russian language instruction. These frameworks are available through the CARLA working paper series.
Each summer CARLA offers a wide array of professional development opportunities for K-16 language teachers including "Proficiency Oriented Language Instruction and Assessment" and "Developing Assessments for the Second Language Classroom."
The CARLA bibliography has more information on presentations and publications done by faculty, students, and staff involved with this project.