Curriculum & Instruction Committee ~ October 21, 2010
Teachers from the FLES and SAMS programs were joined by high school foreign language teachers to offer comments about the incremental increase in the rigor of the grades 1-6 instruction and the impact the FLES program is demonstrating with high school students. High school teachers of Spanish, French, and German reported that students who have completed the FLES/SAMS instruction are arriving as confident learners who are more able to distinguish intonations, produce more authentic oral language, and demonstrate greater listening and reading comprehension than their older peers. Further, the high school teachers reported that students were selecting a variety of foreign languages beginning in seventh grade and are extending the number of years that they stay with the language.
Handouts provide greater detail about the current research about foreign language instruction and the results of FLES with LCPS students.
Questions raised by School Board members:
Mrs. Bergel: Total hours of FLES instruction for grades 1-5 compared to elementary art, music, and physical education?
FLES: 144 hours
Art: 150 hours
Music: 180 hours
PE: 270 hours
Mrs. Bergel: What are the changes made in the AP tests by the College Board that have resulted in LCPS offering a sixth year of foreign language?
Developments in AP French Language and Culture, AP German Language and Culture and AP Spanish and Culture
In order to promote an integration of language, content and culture, the courses will be structured around six broad themes: global challenges; science and technology; contemporary life; personal and public identities; families and communities; and beauty and aesthetics. These themes will promote not only improved communication skills but also the cultural perspectives essential to global citizenry. Students will be well prepared to pursue majors, double majors or minors as they continue their language studies in college. Similar changes to AP Chinese Language and Culture, and AP Japanese Language and Culture are planned for future years and will be announced at least two years before being implemented. With these changes, all five courses and exams will be based on a common framework for developing language proficiency.
Mrs. Bergel also requested the number of students in grade 9 who are in Spanish III.
Mr. Ohnesier requested that additional languages be included in the instruction for fifth grade.
Mr. Marshall requested that all Spanish I teachers be polled for their views on the students who have completed the FLES program.
Committee Members Present: Other Board Members Present:
Mrs. Jennifer Bergel Mrs. Priscilla Godfrey
Mr. Tom Marshall Mr. Bob Ohneiser
Mr. Tom Reed