FLES Program Implementation
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FLES Program Implementation

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  • Thank you for posting this! We're in the first stages of starting a World Language Program at our elementary school in Los Angeles. I would love to know if the program you started is still happening at Waunakee, how it's doing and what sort of advice you can offer now that it's a few years in.
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FLES Program Implementation FLES Program Implementation Presentation Transcript

  • From Research to Reality: How to Start an Elementary World Language Program in Your District Mandy Madderom Gina Pagel Waunakee Community School District
  • Waunakee Example
    • FLES model: Students learn grade-level concepts while developing proficiency in a second language
    • Content based in Social Studies (1 st – 3 rd grades)
    • Content related in all subjects (4 th – 6 th grades)
  • Waunakee Example
    • Started in 1 st and 2 nd grade in 2006-2007
    • Expanded to 3 rd in 2007, 4 th grade in 2008, etc. until full implementation through 6 th grade om 2010
    • Meet 3x/week, for 30 minute class periods in 1 st – 3 rd grade
    • Meet 2x/week, for 30 minute class periods in 4 th grade
    • Meet 2x/week, for 40 minute class periods in 5 th & 6 th grades
  • Waunakee Example
    • District conducted a study of the entire world language program in 2000-01.
    • Conclusions
      • An area of concern: a high percentage of students enrolled in the MS world language program (Spanish) take Level 1 Spanish again at the high school
    • Initial study of an elementary world language program began in Fall of 2001.
  • The Process
    • Formed an Ad Hoc Committee Fall of 2004:
      • classroom teachers
      • world language teachers
      • principals
      • parents
      • world language consultants
      • school board members
  • The Process
    • Gathered information
      • research
      • contacted other successful elementary programs
      • developed rationale for elementary world language program
    • Visited sites
      • Menasha
      • Madison (Leopold Elementary)
      • Kettle Moraine
  • The Process
    • Sent out parent survey to all elementary families in Winter of 2005
    • Developed a proposal to present to the full school board in Fall of 2005
      • including a budget
      • potential schedule
      • space usage
  • Parent Survey
    • Questions we asked:
      • Do you think a language other than English should be taught at the elementary level?
      • What do you see as the benefits of early lang. learning?
      • Should the district offer the same language at all elementary schools?
      • What language should be offered?
      • Should the study of a language be required?
      • Is a language other than English spoken at home?
      • Have you traveled or lived in another country where your native language was not spoken?
      • Have you studied a world language?
  • The Proposal
    • Made a recommendation to implement an elementary world language program in Waunakee
    • Recommendation includes a FLES program, integrating social studies and/or science into the language instruction, so nothing is “added to” a student’s already busy schedule
  • The Proposal
    • Spanish was chosen as the language for all three elementary schools; parent survey strongly suggested Spanish
    • French would be introduced at the 6 th grade level in a semester long course
    • Required curriculum for all elementary students
    • Elementary World Language teacher should have a strong elementary teaching background and fluency in the language
  • The Proposal
    • District will explore K-12 scope and sequence so students are able to attain a high level of fluency
    • An inter-disciplinary approach will be implemented (science or social studies)
    • Program will be annually assessed
  • Program Planning Checklist
    • Hold district-wide planning meetings
    • Complete mission statement, program philosophy
    • Select program model and goals
    • Select language
    • Develop budget
    • Develop curriculum
    • Plan articulation with 6-12 program
    • Plan for evaluation of program
    • Design public relations activities
    • Disseminate program information
    Source: Language and Children: Making the Match by Helena Curtain and Carol Ann Pesola
  • How to Gain Support
    • Parent survey
    • Establish a well-rounded committee (advocates of the program, but also skeptics)
    • Research!
      • ERIC Digest ( www.eric.ed.gov/ )
      • Center for Applied Linguistics ( www.cal.org )
      • Ñ andutí ( www.cal.org/ earlylang/ )
  • How to Gain Support
    • Informational sessions were held for parents and grade level teachers
    • Invite community leaders and school board members frequently to visit and observe classes
  • How to Gain Support
    • Include grade level teachers in curricular planning
      • Teacher investment in an Elementary World Language is crucial
      • Grade level teachers are share holders in a group project
      • Seek their input
      • Make your program a help not a hindrance
      • Share curriculum with grade level teachers before you start teaching
  • The First Days of School
    • Start slowly: Plan lessons that are inviting to your students and colleagues
    • Explain how the class will run. A new immersion experience could be overwhelming
    • Teach language learning strategies (listen for words that sound like English words, use visual cues, use gestures and facial expressions to aid comprehension)
  • The First Days of School
    • Establish a routine
      • An initial routine prepares students to “switch” languages
      • Routine also allows teachers to prepare for the upcoming class
  • The First Days of School
    • Expect a little tension; change is difficult
    • Allow students time to accept the new challenge
      • It takes time to build confidence
    • Explain your content to grade level teachers
      • Consider a weekly e-mail
  • The First Days of School
    • Expect visitors!
      • Your program is new and exciting!
  • Assess
    • Assess your program after the first month, first semester, first year…
    • Make changes as needed for students, staff, school, community