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FLES Program Implementation


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Published in: Education, Technology
  • 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

  1. 1. From Research to Reality: How to Start an Elementary World Language Program in Your District Mandy Madderom Gina Pagel Waunakee Community School District
  2. 2. Waunakee Example <ul><li>FLES model: Students learn grade-level concepts while developing proficiency in a second language </li></ul><ul><li>Content based in Social Studies (1 st – 3 rd grades) </li></ul><ul><li>Content related in all subjects (4 th – 6 th grades) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Waunakee Example <ul><li>Started in 1 st and 2 nd grade in 2006-2007 </li></ul><ul><li>Expanded to 3 rd in 2007, 4 th grade in 2008, etc. until full implementation through 6 th grade om 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>Meet 3x/week, for 30 minute class periods in 1 st – 3 rd grade </li></ul><ul><li>Meet 2x/week, for 30 minute class periods in 4 th grade </li></ul><ul><li>Meet 2x/week, for 40 minute class periods in 5 th & 6 th grades </li></ul>
  4. 4. Waunakee Example <ul><li>District conducted a study of the entire world language program in 2000-01. </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Initial study of an elementary world language program began in Fall of 2001. </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Process <ul><li>Formed an Ad Hoc Committee Fall of 2004: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>classroom teachers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>world language teachers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>principals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>parents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>world language consultants </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>school board members </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. The Process <ul><li>Gathered information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>contacted other successful elementary programs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>developed rationale for elementary world language program </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Visited sites </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Menasha </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Madison (Leopold Elementary) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Kettle Moraine </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. The Process <ul><li>Sent out parent survey to all elementary families in Winter of 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>Developed a proposal to present to the full school board in Fall of 2005 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>including a budget </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>potential schedule </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>space usage </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Parent Survey <ul><li>Questions we asked: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you think a language other than English should be taught at the elementary level? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What do you see as the benefits of early lang. learning? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Should the district offer the same language at all elementary schools? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What language should be offered? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Should the study of a language be required? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is a language other than English spoken at home? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have you traveled or lived in another country where your native language was not spoken? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have you studied a world language? </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. The Proposal <ul><li>Made a recommendation to implement an elementary world language program in Waunakee </li></ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul>
  10. 10. The Proposal <ul><li>Spanish was chosen as the language for all three elementary schools; parent survey strongly suggested Spanish </li></ul><ul><li>French would be introduced at the 6 th grade level in a semester long course </li></ul><ul><li>Required curriculum for all elementary students </li></ul><ul><li>Elementary World Language teacher should have a strong elementary teaching background and fluency in the language </li></ul>
  11. 11. The Proposal <ul><li>District will explore K-12 scope and sequence so students are able to attain a high level of fluency </li></ul><ul><li>An inter-disciplinary approach will be implemented (science or social studies) </li></ul><ul><li>Program will be annually assessed </li></ul>
  12. 12. Program Planning Checklist <ul><li>Hold district-wide planning meetings </li></ul><ul><li>Complete mission statement, program philosophy </li></ul><ul><li>Select program model and goals </li></ul><ul><li>Select language </li></ul><ul><li>Develop budget </li></ul><ul><li>Develop curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>Plan articulation with 6-12 program </li></ul><ul><li>Plan for evaluation of program </li></ul><ul><li>Design public relations activities </li></ul><ul><li>Disseminate program information </li></ul>Source: Language and Children: Making the Match by Helena Curtain and Carol Ann Pesola
  13. 13. How to Gain Support <ul><li>Parent survey </li></ul><ul><li>Establish a well-rounded committee (advocates of the program, but also skeptics) </li></ul><ul><li>Research! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ERIC Digest ( ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Center for Applied Linguistics ( ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ñ andutí ( earlylang/ ) </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. How to Gain Support <ul><li>Informational sessions were held for parents and grade level teachers </li></ul><ul><li>Invite community leaders and school board members frequently to visit and observe classes </li></ul>
  15. 15. How to Gain Support <ul><li>Include grade level teachers in curricular planning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Teacher investment in an Elementary World Language is crucial </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Grade level teachers are share holders in a group project </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Seek their input </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make your program a help not a hindrance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Share curriculum with grade level teachers before you start teaching </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. The First Days of School <ul><li>Start slowly: Plan lessons that are inviting to your students and colleagues </li></ul><ul><li>Explain how the class will run. A new immersion experience could be overwhelming </li></ul><ul><li>Teach language learning strategies (listen for words that sound like English words, use visual cues, use gestures and facial expressions to aid comprehension) </li></ul>
  17. 17. The First Days of School <ul><li>Establish a routine </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An initial routine prepares students to “switch” languages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Routine also allows teachers to prepare for the upcoming class </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. The First Days of School <ul><li>Expect a little tension; change is difficult </li></ul><ul><li>Allow students time to accept the new challenge </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It takes time to build confidence </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Explain your content to grade level teachers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Consider a weekly e-mail </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. The First Days of School <ul><li>Expect visitors! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Your program is new and exciting! </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Assess <ul><li>Assess your program after the first month, first semester, first year… </li></ul><ul><li>Make changes as needed for students, staff, school, community </li></ul>