World Language Classroom

The ACTFL Communication Modes

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Episode notes

In this episode I discuss the communication modes, including a look back at the legacy teaching focused on the 4 skills: reading, writing, listening, and speaking.  Then moving into the arrival of the Communication Modes, which don’t erase the skills, but rather put them into a communicative context.   [sign up for Talking Points]

The ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines put communication into these categories: interpersonal, interpretive and presentational.  

Presentational communication 

  • One-way speaking or writing that does not allow for real time clarification of meaning.  
  • Prepared in advance, not spontaneous

interpretive communication 

  • One-way listening or reading that also does not allow for real time clarification of meaning. 
  • This may require accessing personal knowledge of the topic or doing research.  

Interpersonal communication

  • Two-way speaking that allows for clarification of the message in real time.  
  • When communicating interpersonally all speakers and listeners are involved in creating and interpreting the message and work together to assure that there is a collective understanding.

What does it look like in the classroom?

  • The 4 skills are woven together; listen then discuss or read and then write.
  • Begin with interpretive, then move on to other modes
  • IPA: Integrated performance assessment; backwards planning

**Blog Post/Slide Share on  the ACTFL Communication Modes

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