ERIC Number: ED255057
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985
Why FLES Fails: Lack of Funds or American Provincialism?
America's elementary schools are again ready for foreign language instruction. When commitment to such programs exists, funding can usually be found and creative use of existing materials and personnel resources can ease the budget. Provincialism is a greater obstacle. Foreign language programs can help to eradicate the anti-language attitude that keeps school administrators, neighbors, business people, and diplomats monolingual and narrows children's viewpoints. Administrative support, which can make or break a program, can be in the form of an administrator who believes in the language teachers but absents himself from the program, or who openly backs foreign language instruction and seeks staff and curricula to accomplish it. In either case, it is essential to program success to involve any and all individuals who support the program concept and provide any information that supports foreign language instruction. In addition, program staff must be well qualified, and many resources exist to accomplish this. Finally, the curriculum and materials supporting the program can and should be greatly improved, not limiting children's cultural background to the habits of everyday living but providing connections for new ideas, concepts, and philosophies. Language programs do not fail for lack of money but because of the prevailing notion that children cannot learn languages well and that language learning is not a serious task. (MSE)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the International Conference on Second/Foreign Language Acquisition by Children (Oklahoma City, OK, March 29-30, 1985).