Department of Defense Education Activity

World Language: FAQs

Why was Spanish chosen as the only language offered for the FLES program?

Due to the high transiency rate of DoDEA students, the decision was made to offer the FLES program in Spanish because it is the most spoken non-English language in the United States. According to recent statistics, more than 37 million Spanish speakers live in the United States. This number has grown 233% since 1980. While DoDEA would also like to offer FLES in other critical languages such as Chinese, finding qualified teachers in other languages is prohibitive. 

What is the Middle School World Language Program?

Middle school students have the option of taking world language courses for high school credit. These courses follow the same curriculum, pacing, and end-of-course expectations as the courses taught in DoDEA high schools. All middle school level courses offering high school credit are designated with the letter C after the course name on the student’s transcript (e.g. Spanish I C, French II C, etc.). 

Middle school students who want to start world language study, but are hesitant to participate in the rigor of a high school course may enroll in a specially designed course for the middle school student. These courses are noted with the letter M after the course name on the student’s transcript (e.g. Spanish I M, French II M, etc.). These courses expose the student to the World Language and Culture program but do not grant high school credit. 


Does DoDEA recognize American Sign Language (ASL) as a world language?

DoDEA does not offer instruction in ASL; however credits earned outside of DoDEA will be applied to fulfill the two credit requirement for high school graduation. 


What is language proficiency?

Proficiency is defined as a person’s ability to understand and communicate in a language in a spontaneous and non-rehearsed context in four modalities: listening, reading, speaking, and writing. The American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), uses five levels of proficiency, ranging from novice to distinguished. The novice, intermediate, and advanced levels are further subdivided into three stages: low, mid, and high. The ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines  provide a description of what language learners can do with the language in the four modalities at each proficiency level, regardless of when, where, or how the language is acquired. DoDEA has identified targeted proficiency levels for each world language course. For more information, please see the College and Career Ready Standards for World Languages document.  


How many years should I study a world language?

DoDEA requires two credits of the same language in order to graduate from high school. While few colleges require a foreign language, most strongly recommend that students have at least two years of the same foreign language in high school. Many colleges encourage three to four years of the same language. This shows academic rigor, and may help an applicant's chances of being accepted.

Contact Information:

DoDEA World Language Information Systems Specialists
4800 Mark Center Drive
Alexandria, VA 22350-1400