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This Week in ES

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Dear ICS Elementary Families,

This week I would like to celebrate some of the hard work our Elementary French department is doing. The French program begins in early childhood. This early start is based on research that shows how flexible young children are in learning more than one language and that the earlier you start the stronger your brain is wired to learn more languages. In the early ages of our program there is an emphasis on oral communication.  In the upper grades of elementary emphasis is placed on both oral and written communication. In these upper grades we have arranged the master schedule to provide students maximum time and frequency in our French program as well as being able to group students by ability to better focus differentiation for the time we have.

ICS has adopted the ACTFL, American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, as a framework and the Standards for foreign language learning, preparing for 21st century. 

These documents focus on five goal areas: Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities—the five C’s of World language instruction.

The Can-Do Statements serve two purposes: (1) for programs, the statements provide learning targets for curriculum and unit design, serving as progress indicators; (2) for language learners, the statements provide a way to chart their progress through incremental steps. The checklists are best used by learners and learning facilitators as part of an overall reflective learning process that includes: setting goals; selecting strategies; self-assessing; providing evidence; reflecting before setting new goals.

The more learners are engaged in their own learning process, the more intrinsically motivated they become. Research shows that the ability of language learners to set goals is linked to increased student motivation, language achievement, and growth in proficiency.

Our French instructional staff; Pascaline Dacharry, Michael Ali and Elias Negatu are working hard to provide the very best inquiry based instruction as possible. They develop student centered learning activities to engage students and build that intrinsic motivation needed to learn a new language. 

I encourage you to take a moment and look over the can do descriptors for your child’s grade level. In next week’s letter, we will be providing you some helpful hints on how to help your child at home with learning and/or maintaining a second or third language. 

G2 Teachers make Science FUN!  Check out their video HERE.