Facilitated Interdependent Language Learning (FILL)

“Facilitated Interdependent Language Learning,” or FILL, describes a strategy that calls for one language teacher to facilitate the learning of multiple languages within the same classroom. The word “interdependent” rather than “independent” is used to define FILL because the example classes illustrate the collaborative process of a teacher (facilitator of FILL) and learner (the student registered for the language class) figuring out the what (which language) and how (which resources, use of class time, etc.) together. In that sense, the students in these school-based programs with FILL are not operating totally on their own. The facilitation of their learning by an experienced language teacher is critical in this approach.

For more information, contact FILL4wls@gmail.com.

New for 2024:
Facilitated Interdependent Language Learning (FILL): Resources from the Field (January 2024)

Facilitated Interdependent Language Learning (FILL): Resources from the Field

Previous Publications:

About the Authors

  • Michele Anciaux Aoki, Ph.D., world languages and international education advocate, is a former world languages program supervisor for the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and international education administrator for Seattle Public Schools, focusing now on heritage and less commonly taught languages.

  • Nancy C. Rhodes, CAL senior fellow, served as CAL’s director of foreign/world language education for 18 years overseeing research and development projects for K-12 language teaching and assessment, and currently works to reinvigorate early language programs across the country.

  • Jacqueline Van Houten, Ph.D., intercultural communication consultant and advocate for the Global Seal of Biliteracy, is a former president of ACTFL, NNELL and NCSSFL, and world language supervisor for the Kentucky Department of Education and Jefferson County Public Schools.

  • Tom Welch, educational consultant, is a former French teacher, high school principal, and state foreign language supervisor at the Kentucky Department of Education. He currently advocates for increased opportunities for learning unbound by traditional limits of time or place.


NCSSFL and the FILL team would like to specifically acknowledge the teachers and administrators from Wisconsin who originally developed the model of Facilitated Language Study (FLS), which we report on in the CAL Briefs. Their work has been an inspiration and a confirmation that this type of approach can actually be successfully implemented. They are:

Claudine Clark, French, and Monica Severa, Spanish – Madison Metropolitan School District (WI) and
Laura Koebel, Spanish – Plymouth School District (WI)

In Wisconsin, FLS is used at the district level and FWLS (Facilitated World Language Study) is used at the state level within Wisconsin’s world language education data collection system. The “W” was added to FLS to distinguish a world language versus bilingual education program model.