Language other than English

Course Criteria & Guidance

All courses approved for the language other than English (LOTE, E) subject requirement will expand the student’s view of the world, exposing her or him to diverse modes of thought. A World Language, or LOTE, classroom should integrate 21st century skills for students to develop language and communicative proficiency that moves beyond a focus on listening, viewing, speaking, signing, reading, and writing as mutually exclusive skills, as similarly outlined in the World Language Content Standards for California Public Schools [PDF].

True language proficiency is best measured in accordance with the guidelines established by the American Council of Teachers of Foreign Language. Courses following such guidelines will be taking a substantial step toward meeting the goals of the LOTE E  subject requirement.

Course Content Guidelines

All courses satisfying the LOTE (E) subject requirement are expected to fulfill these criteria:

  • In keeping with the Common Core College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards in Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening [PDF], LOTE courses must stress formal and authentic written, oral, and signed (American Sign Language) assignments as part of the curriculum.
  • LOTE courses will provide a detailed account of what students are reading and writing.
    • Specify the source of the authentic literature, its genre, or topic, and include the length of the passages/texts as well as relevance to unit or lesson.
    • Written assignments should also be described in terms of topic, length, type of composition (descriptive, reflective, interpretive, analytical, etc.), and intent of the assignment.
    • Sentence writing, dictation, journal entries, and paragraphs pertinent to the linguistic and cultural topics of the course would all be acceptable types of writing practice.
  • At the third/fourth-year level, students are expected to have some exposure to works of literature written and read in the target language. Associated writing assignments should also demonstrate appropriate levels of difficulty.
2 years required, 3 years recommended

Two years of college-preparatory coursework required (or through the second level of high school instruction) of the same language other than English (three years are recommended). Language levels are defined by the number of years of high school instruction (e.g., LOTE 1= 1 year; LOTE 2 = 2 years, etc.).

For information on how a student can fulfill UC A-G admissions requirements, please visit the UC Admissions website.

Skills Guidelines

LOTE (E) courses will prepare students to demonstrate competence in the following three language modes:

  • Interpersonal Mode
    • Students will be given opportunities to express their own meaning, stances, and intentions in the target language, working on speaking and listening in a variety of interpersonal contexts.
    • Student interactions will provide opportunities for the acquisition of cultural norms associated with the target language and progress in difficulty as contact hours with the language increase.
    • Courses will provide evidence of what students do to routinely practice speaking and listening skills (e.g., language lab, pair work, online activities, discussion with peers or instructor, call and response, total physical response, recitation, or signing), and specify how listening and speaking will be evaluated, formally and informally, at levels of difficulty appropriate to the language level.
  • Interpretive Mode
    • Students will develop an appropriate cultural interpretation of meanings that occur in written, spoken, and/or signed (American Sign Language, ASL) form.
    • Reading, listening, and/or viewing (ASL) comprehension will be incorporated into the proposed curriculum in keeping with the language level.
    • Activities will be based on authentic source materials from the target culture (e.g., poetry, screenplays, blogs, web pages, lyrics, advertisements, journalism, short stories, and novels).
  • Presentational Mode
    • Students will create oral, written, and signed (ASL) messages in a manner that facilitates interpretation by members of the culture associated with the target language.

Honors Course Criteria & Guidance

Honors-level LOTE (E) courses will demonstrate distinctive features that set them apart from non-honors high school courses in the same target language and will fulfill the following criteria:

  • General A-G honors-level course criteria.
  • Be designed as an advanced language course (i.e., language level 3 or 4+) with the appropriate reading and writing load, and expectations to develop critical thinking skills and/or literacy skills aligned to the particular language level.
  • Describe the use and integration of authentic literature as well as the presentation and practice of advanced literacy and communicative skills.

Core Competencies

The LOTE (E) subject requirement aims to improve students’ knowledge of language structure as a whole, while improving their cultural awareness and literacy in a second language in an effort to develop the global awareness necessary for success in an interconnected world.

More important than any specific communicative outcomes of approved LOTE courses is the continued development of students’ proficiencies in the following:

  • Language and communication
    • Appropriate acquisition of the structural components of language (i.e., phonology, orthography, American Sign Language parameters, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics) that are anchored in real communication to improve competence in listening, reading, viewing, speaking, signing, and writing.
    • Understanding of how linguistic choices depend on the setting, goals, and participants in communicative interactions (e.g., choosing between familiar and polite forms).
    • Achievement in language acquisition, as measured in terms of comprehensibility, comprehension, language control, vocabulary use, communication strategies, and cultural awareness.
  • Culture
    • Knowledge of cultures associated with the target language, including the shared perspectives, social institutions, practices, products, and geographical factors affecting the relevant speech communities.
    • Knowledge of literary and cultural texts and traditions, including major literary figures, works, and intellectual movements, to fuel understanding of the target culture and broaden one’s views on cultural difference.
  • 21st century skills
    • Acquisition of 21st Century Skills [PDF], which were jointly spearheaded by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, including:
      • Language and communicative proficiency through real-life communication, authentic tasks and resources, a keen understanding of culture and language, and a strong emphasis on interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational modes.

World Language instruction should emphasize purposeful opportunities to use the language beyond the classroom and ideally will leverage digital technology and communication tools to foster access to resources and information in the target language.