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ERIC Number: EJ871237
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1083-5415
Big Programs from a Small State: Less Commonly Taught Languages Find Their Home in Delaware Elementary Schools
Fulkerson, Gregory
Learning Languages, v15 n1 p13-15 Fall 2009
This article describes three big programs from Delaware where the less commonly taught languages find their home in Delaware elementary schools. Odyssey Charter School, located in Wilmington, is one of the very few Greek-language-focused public schools in the nation. The school began in 2006 as a Greek immersion program that concentrated on the acquisition of strong mathematical and scientific knowledge, both gifts from the Greek culture. Odyssey Charter believes that learning another language is an essential component to a child's elementary school experience and provides the ideal context for developing skills necessary to being a global citizen of the 21st century. In the southern part of Delaware, one would find the state's most progressive Chinese language program in the Cape Henlopen School District. Through a Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP) grant from the US Department of Education, Cape launched its Lighthouse Chinese Program in September 2007. It is the first such public school program in Delaware and one of a small but growing number in the United States. Students in kindergarten through fifth grade learn about the most enduring civilization in the world as they learn the most widely spoken language in the world. Cape's curriculum is based on the philosophy that children are natural language learners and that creating meaningful contexts for language learning will make the most of their natural curiosity. The Appoquinimink School District prides itself on its focus on International Education and 21st Century Preparedness. The District has developed its own International Education Plan based on these literacies: (1) Scientific Literacy; (2) Economic Literacy; (3) Technology Literacy; (4) Visual Literacy; (5) Information Literacy; (6) Multicultural and Multilingual Literacy; and (7) Global Literacy. The district's journey to 21st century preparedness begins in Kindergarten with a focus on world cultures that permeates the entire curriculum, spiraling upward to grade 12. The students in Appoquinimink School District begin their formal language instruction in grade 4 with 9 weeks of instruction 1 day per week for 50 minutes in each of the following languages, French, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese. Included in this instruction is not only the basic use of the language but exposure to the culture through food tastings, musical presentations and in some cases opportunities to communicate in writing and through web-based conferencing with students in the targeted languages country.
National Network for Early Language Learning. Winston-Salem, NC. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Delaware; United States