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World Language

World language academic standards include both classic and modern languages. Classic languages usually include Latin and Greek while modern languages include those languages currently being spoken around the world. The world language standards are based on the national standards referred to as the five Cs: Communication, Culture, Connections, Comparisons and Communities.

Based on the national standards, student learning expectations and student performance indicators were developed for each standard. At the K-5 level, the standards provide for study beginning as early as kindergarten. At the 6-12 level, students may begin first year study at grade 6, 7, 8 or 9. The standards then provide for continuation from this first year through the fifth year if the student desires to continue this far.

While there is no statewide assessment of world languages, assessment in the classroom is essential to determine student progress. Acquisition of language occurs over time. These standards are designed to guide the learning process as students develop their skills in the new language in preparation for living in today’s global society.

K-5 Standards

The State Board of Education (SBE) has the authority to adopt academic standards for each subject area in grades K-12. Select the course title/grade level to view a description of the course and the standards adopted by the SBE. View the academic standards guidelines adopted by the state board.

Download Elementary Modern Language Grades K-5 Standards

6-12 Standards

The SBE sets the requirements for high school graduation. Per SBE Rule, students must achieve two high school level units of foreign language in order to graduate with a high school diploma. The credit requirement for foreign language may be waived by the local school district for students, under certain circumstances, to expand and enhance the elective focus. View a list of the courses required for high school graduation.

Modern Languages

In 2017, the Tennessee General Assembly passed legislation (Pub. Ch. 270) recognizing American Sign Language (ASL) as a modern language which may fulfill the high school graduation requirement for world language credits. However, at this time, not all colleges and universities outside Tennessee accept ASL for the language units required for admission; thus, Tennessee students should ensure that the postsecondary institution they wish to attend permits ASL as a modern language requirement for admission.

Further information on ASL can be found in the Standards for Learning American Sign Language, from the American Sign Language Teachers Association.

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Classic Languages

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