Learning Targets

Learning Targets guide the sequence of instruction and:

  1. Inform students of what they should know and be able to do with language in order to participate in real-world, culturally appropriate communication in the target culture.
  2. Are written from a student’s point of view and are meaningful to the students.
  3. Focus on the 3 modes of communication: interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational.

How to formulate a learning target:

Learning Target = I can + linguistic function + topic/theme

Examples of Unit Targets:

  • I can gain information from a variety of sources about families in the target culture.
  • I can exchange information about target culture families with a partner.
  • I can present information about target culture family members to others.
  • I can identify differences in family structure in the United States and in the target culture.

Examples of Daily Targets:

  • I can take notes as I listen to information about families and family life in Senegal.
  • I can ask a classmate the names and ages of his/her family members.
  • I can state relationships between family members.


  • > I have memorized 20 vocabulary words for different foods and how to spell them.
  • > The student can conjugate present tense verbs that end in –er with 90% accuracy.
  • > The student will be able to negotiate prices and quantities with a vendor for a variety of food  items.

Sample functions from California World Language Standards, Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve

Novice: Stage I (Levels 1&2) – Formulaic language:

  • engage in conversations
  • interpret
  • present
  • list
  • name
  • identify
  • enumerate
  • identify learned words and phrases in authentic texts

Intermediate: Stage II (Levels 3&4) – Created language:

  • engage in conversations
  • interpret
  • present
  • initiate, participate in and close a conversation
  • ask and answer questions
  • demonstrate understanding of general meaning, key idea and some details in authentic texts

Advanced: Stage III (AP & College) – Planned language:

  • engage in conversations
  • interpret
  • present
  • describe
  • narrate
  • explain
  • state an opinion
  • demonstrate understanding of main idea and key details in authentic texts