Starting and Maintaining a Foreign Language Elementary School Program
See Jessica's presentation from the Magnet Schools of America Conference "Starting and Maintaining an Elementary Language Program: Keys to a Successful Voyage" here.
Getting Started
A terrific list of links to State Departments of Education, State World Language Organizations, etc. put together by the National Council of State Supervisors for Languages is here.

Also see NCSSFL's list of important documents that will help you to get started thinking about a world language program here.
See the "Just for Teachers" section of "Anacleta's World Language and Culture Resources" website (by an amazing CT teacher!) for hints on everything from how to teach "a la cart" to creating the "ideal FLES Program" to ideas for materials and links for teachers. Go here
Why teach languages? Why in elementary school?
Go to our Program Advocacy Articles page for a full list of links and articles.
From ACTFL: what the research shows about the benefits of learning languages. Click here.
Here is the Annotated Bibliograpy, "Effects of Second Language Learning on Intelligence, Standardized Test Scores and Achievement" by Elizabeth L. Webb.
From ACTFL, and Carol Ann Dahlberg and Helena Curtain. What the research shows about early language learning. Click here.
Here is the chart that I mentioned that was put together by the Defense Language Institute, showing how many hours it takes adults to master different languages.

Types of Programs
Guidelines for Starting an Elementary School Language Program by Marcia Rosenbusch of the K-12 National Foreign Language Resource Center. Read the article here.
A description of Elementary School Foreign Language Programs can be found in this Eric Digest.
More about types of elementary programs. Go here.
Read ACTFL's "Characteristics of Effective Elementary School Programs" here.
Where to teach?
Here are the PROS/CONS documents for comparing having a dedicated language classroom to the teacher travelling on a cart.
What grade to start? It really helps to make a chart showing what will happen to curriculum when you start in different grades and move up each year.Scheduling HintsIn order to ensure high quality instruction, effective language learning, and a healthy teacher, it helps to schedule classes: at least every other day
  • at least 20 minutes per class
  • keep classes of the same grade level in a row
  • give ample preparation time for the teacher
  • give extra preparation time in the first year

National Standards for Foreign Language Learning
Download the Executive Summary of the Standards for Foreign Language Learning here.
Order a copy of the Standards here.

A terrific list of links to State Departments of Education,State Standards Documents, State World Language Organizations, etc. put together by the National Council of State Supervisors for Languages is here.

The K-5 Curriculum for Maloney Interdistrict Magnet School's Japanese Language and Culture Program is available here.

Assessment Scales and Self-Assessment
See our Links for Assessment page for a full list of assessment links.

The ACTFL Proficiency Scale is primarily used with older students through adult, but it serves as the guideline for all of the other scales used in the U.S.

The ACTFL Performance Guidelines are meant for use in grades K-12 and are very helpful in writing rubrics. If you own Languages and Children: Making the Match, by Curtain and Dahlberg, there is a copy of the guidelines in the appendix.

The SOPA Scale is used by the Center for Applied Linguistics when they test younger children using the SOPA test. It is a great guide for PreK-6 programs when creating curriculum goals and rubrics. Download information about online and in-person training here.

Linguafolio, a self-assessment portfolio, by the National Council of State Supervisors for Languages, and Linguafolio, Jr. meant for younger students.

The Common European Framework for Languages: an excellent resource and rubric. Much of the Linguafolio discussions were based on this document. It is used throughout the European Union. Click here.

Standardized World Language Assessments
See our Links for Assessment page for a full list of assessment links.

The ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview: The field-wide standard for assessment of the language skills of adults, college, and some high school students. Click here.

Here is a list of the world language assessments offered by the Center for Applied Linguistics, including the SOPA test.

The STAMP Assessment is an online, standardized assessment, aligned with national Standards. It is offered by Avant Assessment

Assessment Examples and Ideas
See our Links for Assessment page for a full list of assessment links.

Funding Sources
The Foreign Languages Assistance Program is a federally funded grant program for languages that has helped to start many successful language programs. Check here for news on upcoming funding cycles.

STARTALK is "one of the projects of the National Security Language Initiative, a multi-agency effort to expand foreign language education in under-taught critical languages by funding new and existing programs throughout students' learning careers, kindergarten through university; and to provide incentives and rewards for foreign language learning and use in the work force." It has been expanded to include the languages Arabic, Chinese, Urdu, Hindi, and Persian.

See our Links for Instruction page for more great websites for instruction.

Here is an excellent description of Howard Gardner's life and the Theory of Multiple Intelligences.

See Jessica's NECTFL Presentation on "Inspiring Yourself and Your Students to Stay in the Target Language" here.


See our Links for Technology page for a full list of technology links.

Advocacy Specifics
See the documents that Kazumi and Jessica use for events such as Lunch with the Sensei's and Parent Visistation Week here.

Read Jessica's article on keeping a Japanese language program "flying" in the long-term here. (applies to all languages.)

Teacher Professional Development
The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
The major K-16 foreign language organization in the United States. ACTFL holds a great conference each year with over 300 sessions to choose from at all levels and languages. They publish the scholarly journal Foreign Language Annals and the new Learning Languages magazine, both of which you receive with membership. Go here to order copies of the national Standards, Proficiency Guidelines, and Performance Guidelines.
The National Network for Early Language Learning
The major foreign language organization for FLES teachers.
From the website: The National Network for Early Language Learning is an educational community providing leadership in support of successful early language learning and teaching.
The American Association of Teachers of French
The American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese
The National Council of Japanese Language Teachers
The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
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