ELEMENTARY WORLD LANGUAGE, K-8
Hola, nihao and Happy Chinese New Year!
It is a pleasure to provide a brief spotlight on Elementary World Language as we mark the 4th year of K-6 instruction.
Brookline's content-enriched FLES (Foreign Language in Elementary School) program provides a sequential language learning experience for students to develop language proficiency appropriate to the grade level.
By now, you may have heard your child share a song or recount a game played in Spanish class. These approaches, in addition to stories, books, role-plays and other interactive activities are the foundation of elementary language learning, providing immediate opportunities for students to practice language.
The K-6 curriculum is composed of thematic units that spiral throughout the grade levels, developing additional knowledge and skills in those themes each year.
The themes in grades K-2 are School and Community, Family, and Climate, with the cultures of the countries of the Andes integrated throughout the units. The themes in grades 3-6 are Community, Leisure Time, Climate, and Food with the cultural focus of Mexico.
In grades 7-8, students work with a textbook that expands on these themes, includes grammatical concepts, and incorporates a broader lens on the cultures of China and Spanish- speaking worlds.
This fall and winter, K-12 teachers and world language curriculum coordinators participated in two days of professional development with Greg Duncan, a nationally recognized consultant, to deepen their understanding of proficiency levels. This foundational work helped teachers to understand the characteristics of each level to establish proficiency targets for the K-12 program, and to connect those targets to instruction. We look forward to continuing this work in department meetings as our K-8 program develops and transforms.
Here's a glimpse into some current learning at Pierce School:
Grades K-2: Winter: weather, colors, produce/where food comes from, winter clothing and designing patriotic winter clothing for Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela, and Colombia
Grades 3: Self descriptions, basic conversations (Q&A)
Grade 4: Map skills and community places (including description and compass directions);
identifying likes/dislikes of activities
Grade 5: Expands on Grade 4 with full sentences and details, description of self and others, including features and personality, verbs and activities, comparing student life here to life in Mexico.
Grade 6: Expands on Grade 5 with more details of family and friends with pen pal letters to Baker School.
Grades 7-8: Classes, schedules, and teachers; the body and our emotional health; food and shopping.
Current 6th graders are making their choice for next year's language, Chinese or Spanish.
Those requests are due this Friday, Feb. 10, to classroom teachers.
Our 8th graders will hear a presentation from the World Language department from Brookline High School next Thursday, Feb. 16. Teachers and coordinator, Agnes Alberola, will inform students of the language choices there.
We are committed to a rich and meaningful curriculum to develop proficient language speakers who understand and appreciate the diverse world in which they live. We thank you for the strong community support of world language instruction for all elementary school students in Brookline.