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Foreign Language Curricula for Elementary Schools - An Annotated (and UPDATED) Collection

Several years ago I collected information about FLES curricula, entitled "Foreign Language Curricula for Elementary Schools" as a joint CAL (Center for Applied Linguistics) and NNELL (The National Network for Early Language Learning) project. Over the years, the references have changed, and thankfully, many more resources are available online. Below is a follow-up collection of curriculum documents, frameworks, scope and sequences, and benchmarks that are accessible for free on the World Wide Web. Still, this collection is a work in progress. Please email me using the mail icon above if you have a FLES curriculum to add. Remember, sharing is caring! Happy early language learning!  ~Lori


CAL Chinese K-5 Conceptual Framework Documents

Language(s): Chinese  |  Grade levels: K-5

The Chinese FLES curriculum for kindergarten and first grade was developed collaboratively by the Center for Applied Linguistics in Washington DC, the National K-12 Foreign Language Resource Center at Iowa State University, project Chinese FLES teachers, and other experienced teachers of FLES and Chinese. The project team drafted conceptual documents to serve as a foundation on which to build the thematic units and instructional materials for the curriculum. Four documents are available: the draft Conceptual Overview - designed as a blueprint to guide the entire four-year project; Chinese K-5 Grade Level Expectations: Learner Profiles; Chinese Curriculum Scope and Sequence; Enduring Understanding, Essential Questions and Themes document.

Charlottesville City Schools, VA

Language(s): Spanish  |  Grade levels: 1-6

A sequential FLES model in which all K-3 students receive two 30-minute sessions per week with a Spanish teacher. The FLES curricula are aligned with the Virginia Standards of Learning and the National Foreign Language Standards. FLES instruction is proficiency-oriented with a greater focus on meaningful communication than on grammatical structure. Students are encouraged first to understand and then to produce in the language.

Georgia Department of Education

Language(s): all  |  Grade levels: K-5

The Georgia Performance Standards for K-5 Modern Languages specify the Standards and Elements that guide instruction in K-5 five-days per week, thirty-minutes per day programs, or similar adaptations. The GPS do not set an upper limit of what can be accomplished by the students; rather, they establish the minimum that students should be able to do by the end of each level.

Greenwich Public Schools, CT

Language(s): Spanish, French  |  Grade levels: K-5

The Greenwich Public Schools FLES program offers content-connected foreign language instruction; the subject matter discussed in the foreign language class mirrors that in the core content areas, particularly in social studies and science. The program teaches content and language objectives together. The content serves as the foundation of thematic instruction, and the basis from which communicative and personalized lessons are developed. The foreign language curriculum follows the five "Cs" of the National and State Standards.

Massachusetts Foreign Languages Curriculum Framework

Language(s): all  |  Grade levels: PreK-8

The Massachusetts Foreign Languages Curriculum Framework sets the expectation that all students in the Commonwealth’s public schools will become proficient in at least one language in addition to English by the time they graduate from high school. Students who select modern languages should be able to speak, read, write, and understand the foreign language they study; students who select a classical language should be able to read and understand the foreign language they study. In order to achieve these goals, it is recommended in this framework that students begin their language studies in the elementary grades and continue to study one or more languages throughout middle and high school.

Mount Lebanon School District, PA

Language(s): Spanish  |  Grade levels: 1-5 and FLEX 

On the curriculum page is a list of topics by grade, but using the navigation bar on the left (click: “Grade Level Activities”) for more detailed information about the types of activities, vocabulary and resources that are used in the program.

New Jersey World Languages Curriculum Framework

Language(s): all  |  Grade levels: K-4; 5-8

Learning scenarios are examples of classroom activities that reflect standards-based reform strategies and proficiency-based world language instruction. The scenarios are not designed to provide the basis for a curriculum or to provide prescriptive lesson plans for teachers. They are designed to demonstrate the teaching and learning of world languages as envisioned by an extended sequence of world language instruction. Many of these activities may appear to be unrealistic in current teaching situations because most New Jersey world language programs are in the process of transition in incorporating proficiency-based techniques and long instructional sequences.

New Jersey World Languages Standards in Action Documents

Language(s): all  |  Grade levels: K-5; 6-8; 6-12

The World Languages Standard in Action documents were developed by a team of New Jersey world language educators. The documents provide support for curriculum specialists and teachers in the design and implementation of curriculum that includes strong integration of technology applications aligned to the 2009 New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standard for World Languages. There are a total of 15 World Languages Standard in Action documents that target the Novice-Mid through Intermediate-High proficiency levels.

Ohio Department of Education Content-Enriched Mandarin Chinese Curriculum

Language(s): Chinese  |  Grade levels: K-4

The goals for the K-4 Content-Enriched Mandarin Curriculum Project were to: develop an age-appropriate Chinese language program that reinforces content and skills from the regular curriculum and spirals vocabulary, sentence patterns and cultural content so that all children can be successful learning Chinese; build the capacity of teachers to use the curriculum and to adapt it for their particular teaching settings through Web-based professional development modules. This curriculum is based on the assumption that classes meet for 30 minutes, three times a week. If your time allocation is different, you will need to do fewer or more of the daily activities during each class session. You may wish to delete, shorten or extend activities or recombine tasks as you modify each unit based on available time and your learners’ needs.

Prince William County Schools, VA

Language(s): Spanish, French  |  Grade levels: 1-5

A content-based sequential FLES model was selected for students in grades 1 to 5. This is one of the most widely implemented early foreign language programs in the U.S. Sequential FLES is an introduction of a foreign language through a sequence of grades on a regular basis in which skill development in the areas of listening, speaking, reading, writing and cultural awareness are learned within the themes and topics of the mainstream curriculum content objectives. In this model all students will be exposed to the foundation of a language, Spanish or French, once a week for approximately 45 minutes by a certified foreign language teacher.

West Des Moines Community Schools, IA

Language(s): Spanish  |  Grade levels: 1-6

All students in grades 1-6 participate in Spanish instruction for 60 minutes a week. Language training activities are geared to the child’s interest level and include experiences with cultural practices and integration of thematic content. Spanish is integrated in all content areas. These experiences emphasize listening, speaking, reading and comprehension in meaningful, communicative contents: social/cultural situations, games, songs, and rhymes plus experiences with arts, crafts, movement and total physical response.