ERIC Number: ED209960
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: N/A
Revitalizing a Foreign Language Department.
The example of Lyons Township High School in Illinois is used to illustrate possibilities for increasing enrollments in high school foreign language departments. At a time of declining overall enrollment, the foreign language enrollment at Lyons increased from 33% to 55% of the student population. The first step in the process was image building, which involved assessing the student image of foreign language study as well as the expectations of parents. A generally negative image was counteracted with a variety of special activities with a public relations component (international dinners, career days, and the like). Textbooks, courses of study, and methodology were examined in a process of curriculum reform. Intradepartmental meetings became in-house inservice sessions, while communication with other departments was also improved. Ability grouping was instituted as a form of individualization. Weighted grading offered an added incentive for students to enroll. At the end of the period of growth, six languages were established in the curriculum, as well as courses in etymology. The revitalization process was concluded with an evaluation, which in turn has led to ongoing renewal. The crucial feature in the success of this effort has been involvement of a wide spectrum from the school and community, and continuing cooperation among all participants. (JB)
Descriptors: Cooperative Planning, Departments, High Schools, Language Enrollment, Program Improvement, Second Language Programs
Not available separately; see FL 012 676.
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Lyons Township High School IL
Note: Paper presented at the Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (Omaha, NE, April 9-11, 1981).