Teaching World Languages and Cultures
in Elementary Settings

July 27–31, 2020

Leah Shepard-Carey

Informed by the National World Readiness Standards for Learning Languages with the goal areas of Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, Communities, Communication, this course focuses on proficiency-based lesson design and assessment skills necessary to teach world languages and cultures at the elementary level.

During this class we will examine methods and materials for elementary world language instruction; development of oral communication and literacy in world languages; world language program design; global awareness and cross-cultural experience; children's literature, games/songs, and units and lessons planning and development.

Program Schedule (9am-4pm)
Day 1 The Learner
  • ACTFL Standards
  • Second Language Acquisition Fundamentals
  • Curriculum, Unit, and Lesson Planning and Design
Day 2 Proficiency building
  • Interactive Tasks and Materials
  • Experiential Learning
  • Language and Culture
  • Language and Content
Day 3 Material, Assessment, and Environment
  • Effective Materials: Games and Activities
  • Assessment and Growth
  • Learning Environment
Day 4 Program Implementation and the Digital Class
  • Effective Programs
  • Language and Technology
Day 5 Looking Beyond
  • Rationale and Advocacy
  • Professional Collaborations

After this institute, you will be able to:

  • Identify the unique characteristics of young language learners and apply an understanding of how best to teach language to young learners in meaningful ways;

  • Explain ACTFL’s National World Readiness standards and apply them to curricular planning, instruction, and assessment;

  • Develop thematic lesson plans and curricular units that are standards-based and aligned with established learning and proficiency targets;

  • Use a range of strategies to build students’ vocabulary and language proficiency and to support language use and development; and

  • Apply an understanding of how to “bring language to life” with a range of materials games, songs, and activities.


Leah Shepard-Carey is a current instructor and PhD student in Second Language Education at the University of Minnesota. She has worked in elementary ESL and early childhood bilingual contexts for several years.

Target Audience
This institute is designed for preservice and inservice foreign language teachers at the K-8 grade level. The institute is not intended for ESL or immersion teachers.


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Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) • 140 University International Center • 331 - 17th Ave SE • Minneapolis, MN 55414