World Languages


In a globalized world, those who can communicate effectively in more than one language and across cultures, have a great advantage.

Such language proficiency is critical for business, trade, diplomacy, and can help to promote mutual understanding and respect.

For students, learning more than one language can enrich their academic and life experiences and open doors to opportunities.

Since 1959, CAL has actively worked with partners around the world to promote literacy in world languages and improve the learning of English as international language. Currently, CAL staff conduct research and develop practical solutions to support successful language programs for learners at all levels of instruction (early childhood, elementary, secondary, higher education, and adult education).

We are committed to supporting language learning and cultural understanding within the United States and around the world.

CAL's World Language Team Can Help Achieve Your Goals 

CAL offers virtual, in-person, and hybrid models of professional development, technical assistance, and tailored services for educators of world languages at all levels of instruction.

Here are some of the areas where we can assist and guide you:

  • program evaluation;
  • needs assessment;
  • design services;
  • curriculum review;
  • assessment development;
  • review of local language assessments, rubrics, and rater training materials; 
  • workshops and courses on planning for language assessment and developing classroom assessment tasks; and 
  • research studies.

Our services are tailored for your target audience: for teachers, administrators, schools, districts, and/or other institutions that are planning or implementing programs for language learners.

CAL’s World Languages team is pleased to offer research solutions resulting in written reports and presentations based on quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methodologies. Our research activities include literature reviews, classroom observations, focus groups, interviews, surveys, review of extant program data, and proficiency testing.

To learn more about CAL's work and resources about this topic, browse the subtopics within this section below.


Massachusetts World Language Standards Update

To ensure the quality of Massachusetts’ world language education, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) contracted CAL to research and provide recommendations on how to update their existing Massachusetts world language standards.



STARTALK was created in 2006 to provide learning opportunities in the critical languages for students (K-16) and professional development for teachers of the critical languages, mainly through programs offered during the summer.

Peace Corps TEFL Certificate Validation

CAL is serving as an external consultant to the Peace Corps to review and validate the Peace Corps standards for a Peace Corps Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Certificate.

National K-12 Foreign Language Survey

CAL conducted a national survey of foreign language instruction in public and private elementary and secondary schools to provide an updated national and regional portrait of foreign language instruction in the United States.


Computerized Oral Proficiency Instrument (COPI)

Computerized Oral Proficiency Instrument (COPI)

The COPI is a comprehensive oral proficiency assessment that provides reliable, valid results to help inform instruction and gauge student progress.  The COPI is available in Mandarin Chinese, Modern Standard Arabic, and Spanish.

Handbook of Heritage, Community, and Native American Languages in the United States: Research, Policy, and Educational Practice

Handbook of Heritage, Community, and Native American Languages in the United States: Research, Policy, and Educational Practice

This timely and comprehensive publication provides a state-of-the-art overview of major issues related to heritage, community, and Native American languages in the United States, providing a foundational perspective on how these languages are learned and used in a variety of contexts and outlining the importance of drawing on these languages as valuable national resources.


Evaluation and Program Design Services

CAL offers evaluation and program design services to schools, districts, and other institutions that are planning or implementing programs for language learners.

Learn more.

News & Events

World Language Standards for Diverse Programs: Needs and Implications


This session presents findings from 6 educator focus groups on the needs of less common programs in writing and implementing state world language standards and a literature review on best practices for 8 specialized areas: non-alphabetic, classical, and heritage languages, ASL, elementary programs, students with disabilities, SEL, and assessment. View proposal.