Disciplinary Literacy and World Languages

In Wisconsin, disciplinary literacy is defined as "the confluence of content knowledge, experiences, and skills merged with the ability to read, write, listen, speak, think critically and perform in a way that is meaningful within the context of a given field."
These skills, reading, writing, listening, and speaking are at the core of learning a first, second or third language. The specifics of the learning process are the same, even though second language acquisition differs in some essential ways. Subsequently, the pedagogy of teaching a world language differs from teaching and refining the use of one's native language. However, world language teaching and learning clearly develops literacy skills and strengthens students' ability to read, write, listen, and speak in their native language.
The content of world language learning is not the grammar or the sound system of a new language. Similarly, the content of the English Language Classroom is not grammar. In both subject areas, though, grammatical analysis becomes the content when it is the target of instruction. The vast majority of instructional time, however, is dedicated to using language appropriately to express ideas and thoughts. Thus the content of language instruction is the body of ideas discussed and presented. In world language teaching, the broad category of "culture" is often used to describe content. Content, or culture, is the entire bandwidth of topics students are typically asked to discuss. The world language standards capture the teaching of reading, writing, speaking, and listening as well as content under two headings (or standards): Communication and Culture.
Broadly defined, culture refers to the way native speakers act, behave, and communicate in their own culture. Cultural learning is enormously complex and goes well beyond learning a world language. It involves understanding different points of view. Teaching and learning experiences range from the simple to the complex, from learning about different daily rituals and traditions to understanding economic and political structures as well as issues of global significance. Such learning involves critical thinking.