Welcome to the EKES Foreign Language Website
While our first year offering Foreign Language through the program Rosetta Stone was very successful, we have decided to switch to a program called Transparent Language. The reason for the switch, is that it will allow students to work at their own pace through the web-based program during class time and at home as well as offer direct instruction from certified instructors in the target languages chosen. Grades 4 and 5 will have the opportunity to meet with an instructor twice during the month through an online classroom with voice and text capability to practice speaking the language, as well as get help and feedback on any concept they are struggling with. Students will also have access to an online classroom in Moodle that will have posted activities and assignments in the target language. Technology will still be integrated throughout the foreign language program (and even more so now) to continue working toward meeting the ICT (Information, Communication and Technology) standards. Grade 3 will focus more on culture and geography in the beginning school months and will then transition to using Transparent Language for language exploration. They will not receive direct language instruction until Grade 4 (once a language has been established for the entire year).
Grade 3 is an exploratory year. The goal for this year is to expose third graders to different languages and cultures. They will be asked to choose at least one eastern and one western language to explore during the year. They may choose up to 4 languages to study throughout the year. If a student is highly motivated and wants to dedicate more time to learning one language during the school year, they may choose to do so with my approval.
Grades 4 and 5:
In grades 4 and 5, students will be asked to choose a language that they want to study for the year. They will be asked to make a thoughtful choice and think about the reasons and goals for choosing that language. We will look at what it will take to be a successful language learner and the time needed to really master a language. Based on these discussions, students will select a language that will best meet their learning goals.
While our goal is to allow the student to choose the language they want to study, to ensure the highest engagement, parents will certainly play an active role in guiding students' language choice and helping them be successful language learners. Here are some questions you may want to explore with your child as they think about language choice:
What language really interests you? Why?
What are your long term goals for the language? How will you meet those goals?
Other language considerations may include:
Does anyone in the family speak the language?
Does the student already know another foreign language?
Does the family travel often to parts of the world where another language is spoken?
The following website has some good information about languages that may also help guide the language choice and present some context around languages: http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/guide/languages.shtml.
While we encourage parents to help the student with learning the selected language choice, we unfortunately can't offer additional access to the program due to the licensing structure. You may choose to follow along with the student while they are working on it at home, however we won't be able to give you your own log-in. I will be adding several free language resources to this site that you may consider using to advance your language abilities in order to help the student.
Beginning the week of October 5th, students in grades 4 and 5 will be required to do an hour of language homework outside of the regularly scheduled class time. This can be done at any time during the week in any increments of time. The student may choose to work in Transparent Language, the Moodle classroom, or another language activity with permission.
Grades and Standards:
Students will receive a standard for Foreign Language. Grading will be based using the National Foreign Language Standards and consideration for effort and quality of work will be the major influences for the standards given.