The Stepping Stones Curricular Framework

The Stepping Stones Curricular Framework

Excerpted from Foundations:  A Natural Approach to the (Transition) Year
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The proficiency-oriented Stepping Stones curricular framework offers an alternative to traditional grammar instruction. It connects our national standards to the way languages are actually acquired: by comprehending and processing language input through listening and reading, and allowing speech and writing to emerge at the Novice level, which is to say at the level of one-word or phrase-length utterances, and then the Intermediate level, which is to say beginning to use connected strings of sentences, and then at the Advanced level, using well-organized, more formal discourse styles. It aligns with research and standards, not with the financial interests of for-profit textbook companies.  There is not a lot of profit to be made in selling a simple curriculum whose goal is to put student interests at the center of the material to be covered and to foster true communication in the language.

Scope and Sequence

Stepping Stones is cost-effective, requiring only a trained teacher to lead the class, basic art materials, and a classroom library of interesting reading material. In fact, educators who implement a truly research- and standards-based curriculum will most likely find themselves dramatically reducing the materials expenditures in their buildings each adoption cycle.  Instead, they can use some of that budget to train their teachers in speaking comprehensibly to their classes and also to purchase high-interest, level-appropriate reading material for free-choice reading, to support true literacy in world language programs.

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