Skip to Content - Skip to Navigation

What Competencies Will I Be Expected to Attain?

Mission Statement: Spanish Education

The Department of Foreign Languages offers a teacher education program in Spanish which is designed to provide pre-service and in-service teachers with experiences which will prepare them to think critically and accept responsibilities for their own learning, and which will assist them in acquiring knowledge of the world in which we live, the functional linguistic and cultural proficiency necessary to communicate and teach in a multicultural society, the skills necessary to teach language, culture, and literature, and the philosophical knowledge to understand their multifaceted roles as educators. The program is committed to preparing elementary and secondary teachers who are able to communicate effectively in English and Spanish, to access and utilize educational research, to develop pedagogical practices based upon sound theory, to make decisions and solve problems strategically, and to serve as effective advocates for the profession.

IUP’S Conceptual Framework for Teacher Preparation

Danielson’s Framework for Teaching

The teacher education programs at IUP have been developed based upon our belief that teaching, learning, and communicating are complex processes. We have formally adopted Charlotte Danielson’s 2007 Framework for Teaching that provides the common language we use in our research, practice, reflections, evaluation, and communication about exemplary practice that promotes learning for all students.

Danielson has identified 22 components that comprise exemplary practices for teaching and learning. Figure 1 shows the grouping of the components of professional practice into the four domains of the Framework.

Figure 1: Components of Professional Practice

Domain 1: Planning and Preparation


  • Demonstrating Knowledge of Content and Pedagogy
  • Demonstrating Knowledge of Students
  • Selecting Instructional Outcomes
  • Demonstrating Knowledge of Resources
  • Designing Coherent Instruction
  • Developing Student Assessments

Domain 2: The Classroom Environment


  • Creating an Environment of Respect and Rapport
  • Establishing a Culture for Learning
  • Managing Classroom Procedures
  • Managing Student Behavior
  • Organizing Physical Space

Domain 3: Instruction


  • Communicating With Students
  • Using Questioning and Discussion Techniques
  • Engaging Students in Learning
  • Using Assessment in Instruction
  • Demonstrating Flexibility and Responsiveness

Domain 4: Professional Responsibilities


  • Reflecting on Teaching
  • Maintaining Accurate Records
  • Communicating with Families
  • Participating in a Professional Community
  • Growing and Developing Professionally
  • Showing Professionalism

Framework for Teacher Education at IUPThe Framework is used to guide and structure early field experiences and you will be required to incorporate the components into the reflections you prepare for inclusion in your electronic portfolio.

The logo at right conveys our belief that the Teacher Candidate is at the center of our initial preparation programs. It identifies and communicates the four domains of teaching and learning from Figure 1 above that are now used to structure and define our programs:  planning and preparation, classroom environment, instruction, and professional responsibilities.  

InTASC Standards

Teacher preparation programs at IUP also reflect the model core teaching standards of the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC), which outline what teachers should know and be able to do to ensure that every K-12 student reaches the goal of being ready to enter college or the workforce in today's world. The recently revised InTASC standards (2011) embrace a new emphasis on improved student outcomes and describe what effective teaching that leads to improved student performance looks like. The InTASC standards incorporate the performances, essential knowledge, and critical dispositions that faculty value in teachers and other professional school personnel. The following are the 10 InTASC Standards (see Spanish Education K-12 Student Handbook for a detailed description of the performances, essential knowledge, and critical dispositions embodied in each standard):

Standard#1: Learner Development

The teacher understands how learners grow and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas, and designs and implements developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences.

Standard #2: Learning Differences

The teacher uses understanding of individual differences and diverse cultures and communities to ensure inclusive learning environments that enable each learner to meet high standards.

Standard #3: Learning Environments

The teacher works with others to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, and that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self motivation.

Standard #4: Content Knowledge

The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and creates learning experiences that make the discipline accessible and meaningful for learners to assure mastery of the content.

Standard #5: Application of Content

The teacher understands how to connect concepts and use differing perspectives to engage learners in critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem solving related to authentic local and global issues.

Standard #6: Assessment

The teacher understands and uses multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, to monitor learner progress, and to guide the teacher’s and learner’s decision making.

Standard #7: Planning for Instruction

The teacher plans instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, curriculum, cross-disciplinary skills, and pedagogy, as well as knowledge of learners and the community context.

Standard #8: Instructional Strategies

The teacher understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and to build skills to apply knowledge in meaningful ways.

Standard #9: Professional Learning and Ethical Practice

The teacher engages in ongoing professional learning and uses evidence to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (learners, families, other professionals, and the community), and adapts practice to meet the needs of each learner.

Standard #10: Leadership and Collaboration

The teacher seeks appropriate leadership roles and opportunities to take responsibility for student learning, to collaborate with learners, families, colleagues, other school professionals, and community members to ensure learner growth, and to advance the profession.

The InTASC Standards reflect the four domains of Danielson’s Framework. You will be evaluated formally during Student Teaching using the 10 InTASC Standards, and the performances, essential knowledge, and critical dispositions are taken into account as your university supervisor and cooperating teacher evaluate your performance. The various components are also considered throughout your coursework as they apply in individual courses. In addition, you will compile an electronic portfolio and will select artifacts to address each of the InTASC Standards.

Knowledge Base: Spanish Education

ACTFL/NCATE Program Standards for the Preparation of Foreign Language Teachers

The content of the Spanish Education K-12 Program is based largely on the program standards that were developed by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) in conjunction with the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) in October 2002. A summary of the standards follows:

Standard 1: Language, Linguistics, Comparisons

Standard 1.a. Demonstrating Language Proficiency

Candidates demonstrate a high level of proficiency in the target language [Advanced-Low level], and they seek opportunities to strengthen their proficiency.

Standard 1.b. Understanding Linguistics

Candidates know the linguistic elements of the target language system, recognize the changing nature of language, and accommodate for gaps in their own knowledge of the target language system by learning on their own.

Standard 1.c. Identifying Language Comparisons

Candidates know the similarities and differences between the target language and other languages, identify the key differences in varieties of the target language, and seek opportunities to learn about varieties of the target language on their own.

Standard 2: Cultures, Literatures, Cross-Disciplinary Concepts

Standard 2.a. Demonstrating Cultural Understandings

Candidates demonstrate that they understand the connections among the perspectives of a culture and its practices and products, and they integrate the cultural framework for foreign language standards into their instructional practices.

Standard 2.b. Demonstrating Understanding of Literary and Cultural Texts and Traditions

Candidates recognize the value and role of literary and cultural texts and use them to interpret and reflect upon the perspectives of the target cultures over time.

Standard 2.c. Integrating Other Disciplines In Instruction

Candidates integrate knowledge of other disciplines into foreign language instruction and identify distinctive viewpoints accessible only through the target language.

Standard 3: Language Acquisition Theories and Instructional Practices

Standard 3.a. Understanding Language Acquisition and Creating a Supportive Classroom

Candidates demonstrate an understanding of language acquisition at various developmental levels and use this knowledge to create a supportive classroom learning environment that includes target language input and opportunities for negotiation of meaning and meaningful interaction.

Standard 3.b. Developing Instructional Practices That Reflect Language Outcomes and Learner Diversity

Candidates develop a variety of instructional practices that reflect language outcomes and articulated program models and address the needs of diverse language learners.

Standard 4: Integration Of Standards into Curriculum and Instruction

Standard 4.a. Understanding and Integrating Standards In Planning

Candidates demonstrate an understanding of the goal areas and standards of the Standards for Foreign Language Learning and their state standards, and they integrate these frameworks into curricular planning.

Standard 4.b. Integrating Standards in Instruction

Candidates integrate the Standards for Foreign Language Learning and their state standards into language instruction.

Standard 4.c. Selecting and Designing Instructional Materials

Candidates use standards and curricular goals to evaluate, select, design, and adapt instructional resources.

Standard 5: Assessment Of Languages and Cultures

Standard 5.a. Knowing Assessment Models and Using Them Appropriately

Candidates believe that assessment is ongoing, and they demonstrate knowledge of multiple ways of assessment that are age- and level-appropriate by implementing purposeful measures.

Standard 5.b. Reflecting on Assessment

Candidates reflect on the results of student assessments, adjust instruction accordingly, analyze the results of assessments, and use success and failure to determine the direction of instruction.

Standard 5.c. Reporting Assessment Results

Candidates interpret and report the results of student performances to all stakeholders and provide opportunity for discussion.

Standard 6: Professionalism

Standard 6.a. Engaging in Professional Development

Candidates engage in professional development opportunities that strengthen their own linguistic and cultural competence and promote reflection on practice.

Standard 6.b. Knowing the Value of Foreign Language Learning

Teacher candidates know the value of foreign language learning to the overall success of all students and understand that they will need to become advocates with students, colleagues, and members of the community to promote the field.

Exit Program Competencies Verified in Student Teaching

The primary goal of the Spanish Education Program at IUP is to equip teacher candidates with the necessary knowledge of their content area and pedagogy, dispositions for teaching Spanish and working with children and adolescents, and skills in using and teaching Spanish to K-12 learners. By the end of the program, teacher candidates must be able to demonstrate the following competencies, which are based on the ACTFL/NCATE Program Standards, and are verified at the end of the Student Teaching experience. See Spanish Education K-12 Student Handbook, Appendix B, for a detailed list of the knowledge, skills, and dispositions for each competency below.

  1. The teacher candidate integrates foreign language standards into planning, instruction, and assessment.
  2. The teacher candidate creates a classroom environment that supports language learning and acquisition.
  3. The teacher candidate demonstrates a satisfactory level of proficiency in the target language. This level is the "Advanced-Low" level on the scale developed by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, and in accordance with their recommendation.
  4. The teacher candidate provides maximum opportunities for students to communicate meaningfully in the target language.
  5. The teacher candidate engages students in negotiating meaning with the teacher and with one another.
  6. The teacher candidate introduces and practices vocabulary in context.
  7. The teacher candidate teaches grammar as the vehicle for using the target language to communicate in real-world contexts.
  8. The teacher candidate provides opportunities for students to practice oral interpersonal communication in pairs and in small groups.
  9. The teacher candidate provides opportunities for students to interpret authentic oral and printed texts, including literary and cultural texts.
  10. The teacher candidate engages students in written interpersonal and presentational communication.
  11. The teacher candidate integrates culture into instruction by engaging students in exploring the relationships between and among cultural products, practices, and perspectives. The candidate also demonstrates a familiarity with one or more countries where Spanish is spoken.
  12. The teacher candidate assesses students' progress through contextualized assessment practices.
  13. The teacher candidate makes connections between other school subjects and foreign language instruction.
  14. The teacher candidate provides opportunities for students to interact with target-language communities through a variety of means such as technology and authentic materials.
  15. The teacher candidate participates effectively as a professional in school and community settings and within the larger foreign language profession.

An important component of being an effective language teacher is having effective dispositions or attitudes about teaching and learning. Consequently, you will also be evaluated on your dispositions for teaching at the end of Student Teaching. See Spanish Education K-12 Student Handbook, Appendix I, for the “Professional Dispositions of Teacher Candidates—Assessment.”

The Spanish Education Program prepares beginning foreign language teachers to use current theories about language learning and teaching as a basis for reflection and practice. The program assists developing foreign language teachers as they begin their journey toward accomplished teaching by basing their learning, teaching, and reflecting on the five propositions established by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards:

  • Teachers are committed to students and their learning.
  • Teachers know the subjects they teach and how to teach those subjects to students.
  • Teachers are responsible for managing and monitoring student learning.
  • Teachers think systematically about their practice and learn from experience.
  • Teachers are members of learning communities.

(National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, 1994, pp. 6-8). These propositions also undergird the Student Teaching Competencies listed above.

The Spanish Education Program provides experiences which help students to become active decision makers who acquire the skills necessary for applying theory through observing classroom interaction, designing and teaching effective lessons, and making appropriate decisions in a wide variety of situations that confront them daily.

American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. (2002). ACTFL/NCATE program guidelines for the preparation of foreign language teachers. 

Curtain, H. A., & Dahlberg, C. A. (2010). Languages and children—Making the match (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Allyn & Bacon.

Danielson, C. (2007). Enhancing professional practice: A framework for teaching (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC). (2011). InTASC model core teaching standards. Washington, DC: Council of Chief State School Officers.

Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium. (2002). Model standards for licensing beginning foreign language teachers: A resource for state dialogue. Washington, DC: Council of Chief State School Officers.

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. (1994). What teachers should know and be able to do. Washington, DC: NBPTS.

National Standards in Foreign Language Education Project. (2006). Standards for foreign language learning in the 21st century. Lawrence, KS: Allen Press, Inc.

Shrum, J., & Glisan, E. W. (2010). Teacher's handbook: Contextualized language instruction. (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Heinle, Cengage Learning.

  • Department of Foreign Languages
  • Sutton Hall, Room 455
    Indiana University of Pennsylvania
    Indiana, PA 15705
  • Phone: 724-357-2325
  • Fax: 724-357-1268
  • Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday
  • 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.