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Foreign Language Exploratory Program (FLEX)
i-Immersion partners with school organizations to design a foreign language exploratory program (FLEX) in their before- and/or after-school program for toddlers up to grade 5 to cultivate language skills in a group setting. Class time ranges from 50 minutes to 2 hours and usually meets only 1-2 times per week for short classes.
The exploratory program aims to introduce students to language learning, build awareness and appreciation of other cultures, develop an appreciation for the value of learning another language, and increase motivation for future language study. Through the study of other languages, students also gain an enhanced understanding of English. Because classes are so short and meet so infrequently, fluency in the new language is not an expected outcome of the exploratory program.
The goals of the exploratory program are related to the students’ attitudes, so a major curricular priority is positive learning experiences. Thus, our exploratory curriculum emphasizes the use of games to practice the new language, and the use of activities to learn about other cultures.
Our offerings are mix-age classrooms consist of mix-level learners. Most partners start their class with a wider age range such as K-4 and gradually break into multiple classes by grade.
Sample Class Offerings
This class immerses children in a new language through music, story, art, and play. Our enthusiastic native-speaking instructors introduce a number, a letter, a shape, and an animal every class. A fun flash card art project, which brings the four element together, allows the students to continue their learning at home. This is an independent participation class with no prior exposure to the language required.
This class begins our journey of a new language discovery through storytelling, songs & dance, and arts & crafts. Students will develop their listening acumen, acquire basic conversation skill, and recognize words and sentences. There is no pre-requisite, so all levels are welcome! A one-year commitment is strongly encouraged to promote optimal results.
This class introduces more complex words and sentences by incorporating role-play activities in the lessons. Students will develop a well-rounded approach to navigate in the foreign language environment with the added writing component. A basic understanding of the foreign language is recommended to participate fully in our Voyager track. An assessment may be needed prior to joining. A one-year commitment is strongly encouraged to promote optimal results.
(Up to 6 hours)
This class captures all aspects of language learning modalities and turns them into mission-focused activities. Students will assume challenging tasks that hone in on their critical thinking, communication, and team-building skills. Reading and writing will be incorporated in the activities to develop more well-rounded learning. First-time participants who did not attend or complete the Pioneers and Voyagers track may need to complete a language assessment prior to joining. A one-year commitment is strongly encouraged to promote optimal results.
The Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the Twenty-First Century, introduced in 1996 and revised in 1999, created the bold vision of a long sequence of language instruction for all learners, beginning in kindergarten and continuing through grade twelve and beyond. Eleven content standards were clustered within five major goals:
Communication: Communicate in Languages Other than English
Cultures: Gain Knowledge and Understanding of Other Cultures
Connections: Connect with Other Disciplines and Acquire Information
Comparisons: Develop Insight into the Nature of Language and Culture
Communities: Participate in Multilingual Communities at Home and Around the World
Our in-school curriculum is designed with these five major goals in mind. Work with our Program Specialist to identify resources available to deliver a complete set of learning standards!
Our immersion teachers are no ordinary teacher of language. They’re a facilitator of experience. For immersion teaching to hit the right note, we adopt the three pillars of the whole approach: the use of authentic materials, emphasis on communication over language and the interdisciplinary nature of language learning.
How do we teach a mix-age classroom?
It is not unusual for students of various levels to be placed in the same language class. In fact, these natural student variations appear in the daytime school program as well. By advanced class, most students will process a similar core knowledge of the target language. But in a beginner class, some students will have never studied the language, while others might have exposure to the target language at home or with friends. A student interested in the target language might have studied it on their own by watching the media.
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In addition to activities that we thoughtfully select to engage students of various language abilities, our teachers may exercise the following strategies to conduct lessons in a mix-level classroom.
Arrange strategic seating to promote a buddy system
Create mix-level groups to encourage peer interactions
Create same-level groups to guide level-specific assignments
Provide multiple levels of each activity to challenge the students who need it
Teach the same concept several ways to cater to students of various learning styles
Play games to bring everyone to encourage active participation
Take turn to give personal attention
Offer additional learning opportunities outside the classroom
Talk with our Program Specialist to design a class that delivers the learning outcome for your school.