ERIC Number: ED447726
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Planning for Success: Common Pitfalls in the Planning of Early Foreign Language Programs. ERIC Digest.
Curtain, Helena; Dahlberg, Carol Ann Pesola
There has been a significant increase in new foreign language programs at the elementary school level in recent years. Many of these programs, often referred to as foreign language in the elementary school or FLES programs, have been implemented to comply with state mandates, while others have been developed in response to parental pressure for early language learning opportunities for their children. Many of these programs risk failure, because of planning decisions that were not carefully thought out or that were based on inaccurate assumptions about foreign language learning. The purpose of this digest is to identify some common pitfalls in program planning and to focus attention on issues that must be considered in the planning stages if early foreign language programs are to succeed. Pitfalls discussed include the following: scheduling foreign language classes too infrequently or in sessions that are too short; treating foreign languages differently from other academic subjects; offering only commonly taught languages, without considering other important world languages; implementing a new program in all grades at the same time; ignoring the needs of students who enter the program in later grades; failing to plan for appropriate articulation from elementary to secondary school programs; hiring teachers who do not have both language and teaching skills; planning and scheduling the foreign language program in isolation from the general curriculum; and planning schedules and workloads that lead to teacher burnout. (VWL)
Descriptors: Articulation (Education), Elementary Secondary Education, FLES, Language Teachers, Program Development, Program Implementation, Scheduling, Second Language Instruction, Second Language Learning, Teacher Qualifications
ERIC Clearinghouse on Languages and Linguistics, 4646 40th Street NW, Washington, DC 20016. For full text: http://www.cal.org/ericcll/DIGEST.
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Languages and Linguistics, Washington, DC.