Educational Programs

There are many ways to learn a foreign language; the three major types of foreign language programs available in elementary schools are: traditional foreign language in elementary schools programs (FLES), foreign language exploratory programs (FLEX) and language immersion programs.

FLES programs present the foreign language as a distinct subject that is taught several times a week, with classes lasting 20–50 minutes. Some programs called content-based or content-enriched programs incorporate themes and objectives from the regular academic curriculum as a vehicle for developing foreign language skills. Depending on the frequency of the classes offered and the opportunities provided for practicing the language children in long term FLES programs may attain substantial second language proficiency. FLEX programs introduce students to other cultures and to language, but the emphasis is not on attaining proficiency in a particular language. These programs can provide a basis for later learning in a more intensive foreign language program. Language immersion programs allow children to spend part or all of the school day learning in the second language.*

At Burns Park we offer a content-based FLES program to all grades receiving our own program.

* Branaman, Lucinda & Rennie, Jeanne. 1998. “Many Ways to Learn: Elementary School Foreign Language Program Models” ERIC Digest, Volume 6, Fall 1998. ERIC Clearinghouse on Languages and Linguistics at the Center for Applied Linguistics in Washington, D.C. [Available as pp. 14-23 of the ERIC Review, Fall 1998.]

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