ERIC Number: ED563247
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Oct-24
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
World Languages and Cultures Feasibility Study
Sklarz, David P.
The purpose of the study was to conduct a comprehensive review of the research and best practices of exemplary elementary school World Language and Culture Programs. Specifically, (1) to assess the degree to which various program designs had most closely met the measurable goals of the American Council of Teachers of a Foreign Language, commonly referred to as the 5C's guide to program development, and the Brown University study of the eight characteristics of highly successful elementary World Language and Culture Programs which compares a program that meets two days a week for 20 minutes in grades 4-6 with models that are cited in the research as exemplars of research-based best practices and (2) to compare and contrast the measurable outcomes of different program designs, associated costs and community support for different programs. The results of the study clearly reflected that an elementary world language program that meets daily allows for greater continuity of practice in a second language and enriches opportunities to reinforce the understanding of our multicultural world in which students will live. Cognitive research of language acquisition demonstrated that beginning a second language as early as kindergarten showed the greatest gain in the study of a new language over time. Other research showed demonstrable benefits in other academic subjects, increased higher order and creative thinking skills, a greater multicultural awareness and an increased sense of achievement. The results of this study of research and best practices and findings leads to several conclusions and recommendations for the implementation of a world class World Language and Culture Program for elementary school age children. In summary, the program should begin as early as kindergarten and be built upon throughout the elementary school years. A world language program should be part of the core curriculum and an integral part of a student's daily instruction for a minimum of 15-20 minutes. The study of the language should have a strong multicultural component and be taught by highly qualified teachers skilled in research-based instructional practices strategies and methodologies. Included in the study is a comprehensive bibliography of best practices and research, a cost-benefit analysis, alternative program designs and a community survey. A bibliography, supplemental tables, and the Marlborough Community Survey: World Languages & Cultures and Full-Day Kindergarten are included.
Descriptors: Best Practices, Elementary School Students, Second Language Learning, Second Language Instruction, Cultural Education, Teaching Methods, Comparative Analysis, Costs, Scheduling, Outcomes of Education, Second Language Programs, Cultural Pluralism, Age Differences, Creative Thinking, Thinking Skills, Cultural Awareness, Program Implementation, Kindergarten, Core Curriculum, Program Design, Time on Task, Cost Effectiveness, Language Teachers, Teacher Effectiveness, Surveys, Likert Scales
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Elementary Education; Kindergarten; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Connecticut