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Laws and Regulations

Iowa Code 256.11 5.f Educational Standards describe the foreign language program requirements, excerpted below:

The state board shall adopt rules under chapter 17A and a procedure for accrediting all public and nonpublic schools in Iowa offering instruction at any or all levels from the prekindergarten level through grade twelve. The rules of the state board shall require that a multicultural, gender fair approach is used by schools and school districts. The educational program shall be taught from a multicultural, gender fair approach. Global perspectives shall be incorporated into all levels of the educational program. The rules adopted by the state board pursuant to section 256.17, Code Supplement 1987, to establish new standards shall satisfy the requirements of this section to adopt rules to implement the educational program contained in this section. The educational program shall be as follows:
5. In grades nine through twelve, a unit of credit consists of a course or equivalent related components or partial units taught throughout the academic year. The minimum program to be offered and taught for grades nine through twelve is:
f. Four sequential units of one foreign language other than American sign language. Provision of instruction in American sign language shall be in addition to and not in lieu of provision of instruction in other foreign languages. The department may waive the third and fourth years of the foreign language requirement on an annual basis upon the request of the board of directors of a school district or the authorities in charge of a nonpublic school if the board or authorities are able to prove that a licensed teacher was employed and assigned a schedule that would have allowed students to enroll in a foreign language class, the foreign language class was properly scheduled, students were aware that a foreign language class was scheduled, and no students enrolled in the class.

World Languages Teaching Endorsements

In Iowa, teacher licensure is handled by the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners. For the requirements for teaching endorsements in world languages, use the following links:

World Languages Update Newsletter

The World Language Update is a quarterly newsletter for World Language educators.

Iowa Seal of Biliteracy

Use the link above to learn more about the Iowa Seal of Biliteracy. It is an award given by a district to recognize students who have attained proficiency in two or more languages, one of which is English, by high school graduation.

Iowa World Language Association

The Iowa World Language Association (IWLA) is devoted to advancing the worldwide mission of education and world languages, literature, and culture by:

  • Promoting the study of world languages and cultures
  • Promoting language curricula, from primary to post-secondary levels, to enable students to become proficient in the target language
  • Opening the doors for multilingual interaction with other cultures

To this end, IWLA provides opportunities and support for language teacher education by:

  • Facilitating the implementation of the National Standards in Foreign Language Education through the 5 C's: Communication, Culture, Connection, Comparison, and Communities
  • Creating opportunities and finding resources for practicing teachers to update their skills and improve their teaching
  • Encouraging the use of new teaching methodologies and technologies in language education

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on August 18, 2022 at 11:11am.