What is FLES? (Foreign Language in the Elementary School)
The FLES program in the Chariho Public School District is a content-connected program which uses an interdisciplinary model to deliver both language and content instruction through a communicative approach. The ultimate goal is for Spanish to be used by both teachers and students for most of the instructional time, following the guidelines of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). The following are characteristics of our FLES methodology:
- words and expressions are taught in context, not in isolation.
- meaning is expressed through visuals, gestures, manipulatives, mime, and context, not through translation.
- there is an emphasis on the integration of productive and receptive abilities.
- associations are made between the target language and the object, action or concept, rather than the English equivalent.
- a wide range of materials of instruction are used during the class session, including audio, visual, manipulative, etc.
- the emphasis is on functional communication activities in real-life situations, based on the National World Language Standards.
- grammatical structures are learned by imitation and repetition, not taught explicitly.
- each lesson includes a great deal of systematic review, reentry, and reinforcement of previously introduced material.
- the content-based instruction reinforces the concepts and core knowledge taught in all other subject areas: Science, Social Studies, Math, ELA, Physical Education, Art, Music
- students ask and respond to questions, frequently engage in pair conversations, small group work, participate in role plays and work with songs, poems, and stories.
- there is abundant use of TPR (Total Physical Response) in all aspects of learning.
- most instructions are given in the target language and the children are expected to respond in the target language. Brief clarification may be done in English if absolutely necessary.
- activities are done in three modes: interpersonal, presentational and interpretive, as per the most recent ACTFL guidelines.