ERIC Number: ED308061
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Proficiency-Oriented Foreign Language in the Small High School. ERIC Digest.
Strasheim, Lorraine A.
This digest considers the problems of foreign language instruction in small high schools and discusses possible solutions. A critical challenge for American education, pointed out by reform reports of the 1980's, is improvement of instruction in foreign languages to instill language proficiency. These national concerns have been translated into policy at the state level, but studies show that most foreign language students are enrolled in French and Spanish with far fewer studying German, Chinese, Japanese, or Russian, all thought to be good choices for students. Staff availability parallels enrollment patterns. Multi-level classes, the scheduling of two or more levels of a foreign language into a single class period, are common in small schools. This creates problems of additional preparation and discipline for teachers and reduced oral language experiences for students. Suggestions are made for administrators to help teachers handle this difficult situation. Many state education agencies and universities are trying to help small schools offer foreign languages through interactive video courses delivered via satellite or microwave transmission. State education agencies are recommended as resources of technical assistance about foreign language programs in small schools. It is concluded that committed teachers are the vital key to both program development and program effectiveness. This digest contains 10 references. (DHP)
Descriptors: Distance Education, High Schools, Language Proficiency, Language Teachers, Rural Schools, Second Language Instruction, Second Language Programs, Small Schools, State Departments of Education
ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools, Appalachia Educational Laboratory, Inc., P.O. Box 1348, Charleston, WV 25325 (free).
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Policymakers
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools, Charleston, WV.