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ABSTRACT  The criteria proposed in the 1988 ACTFL Provisional Program Guidelines for Foreign Language Teacher Education (ACTFL, 1) invite elaboration: first, to delimit and structure the goal, and second, to shape a comprehensive strategy for generalizing the attainment of cultural competence by language teachers. The AATF Commission on Professional Standards has developed a useful plan which delimits the task of the beginning teacher by defining a basic level of proficiency, and which structures the definition of that goal by identifying three components of the requisite competence: sociolinguistic ability; knowledge, both descriptive and procedural; and attitudes.

The strategy for advancing toward the goal must deal especially with the need for a nationwide consensus on a common core of cultural competence; support for this new dimension of teacher education; the availability and the quality of databases, which are becoming a necessary source of sociocultural knowledge; and finally, the embodiment of the new field in thestandards for certification and accreditation, where the associations of language teachers are the only constant force representing an undiluted concern for quality