Elementary Level Language Offerings
Elementary FAQ »
Which elementary schools will be starting a world language program?
We will have our next set of schools determined by August 2018.
Currently, Cale, Meriwether, and Woodbrook elementary schools have World Language programs. The school board supports the expansion of world languages to elementary schools throughout the county. The Department of Instruction has created a plan to continue the expansion of the immersion program.
FLES: Foreign Language in the Elementary School
This model is one where content learning is reinforced in a different language. This allows students to simultaneously develop basic communication skills in the target language while also reinforcing the core curriculum.
The goal of the FLES program is to have students achieve a "Novice High" level of oral proficiency by the end of 5th grade. This level of fluency, based on ACTFL's standards, allows students to participate in everyday social interactions in the target language and understand simple text. In addition, students should be able to give basic presentations and describe simple processes in the target language.
For more details about FLES in ACPS, view this FAQ page.
In addition to FLES, Cale Elementary offers a dual-language Spanish immersion program.The Cale program is a 50/50 program, meaning that students receive half of their instruction in Spanish and half in English in classrooms that are divided as evenly as possible between native English speakers and native Spanish speakers. Language arts instruction is provided in both Spanish and English for equal blocks of time and students remain in linguistically heterogeneous groups during these blocks. Math, science, and social studies are taught in both Spanish and English throughout the year so that students build proficiency in the academic terms associated with the disciplines across both languages.
Spanish and English blocks are clearly separated in children’s day to form immersive environments. They share time with both Spanish and English speaking teachers. These teachers plan together closely to ensure integration of their lessons across languages. Teachers use sheltered instruction and other strategies to support students learning in a language other than the one they use at home. They use instructional “bridges” within their lessons to facilitate students transitioning from one language to another. Teachers of both languages focus on key academic vocabulary connected to core academic concepts.
Middle School Language Offerings
Middle School FAQ »
In 6th grade, students may choose an exploratory language course in Spanish or French, depending on the middle school. These courses provide an introduction to the target language and cover the most salient concepts of the Level I language curriculum.
Schools offer Spanish I and French I for students in 8th grade. In 7th grade students may take a course in world languages that explores part of the Level I curriculum. In 8th grade, students deepen their understanding of this curriculum and may earn their first high school World Language credit.
In August of 2018, Burley and Walton middle schools began offering social studies in Spanish for 6th graders in order to allow immersion/FLES students to continue their immersion experience. For more information about the immersion classes, click here.
High School Language Offerings
High School FAQ »
How many years of a World Language does a student need to take to get the advanced diploma?
A student must take three years of one language or two years of two different languages in order to receive the Advanced Studies Diploma. To attain the greatest fluency and benefit most from world language instruction, students should take as many years in the same language as possible. Upon attaining at least intermediate fluency in a second language, students may explore becoming proficient in a third language through study in the world languages programs. Additionally, we recommend that families contact college or career counselors for advice/input.
Will my child be fluent in the language(s) after taking classes?
Students gain greater fluency the earlier they begin their program of studies and the longer they study in the language. Students typically gain intermediate fluency based on the American Council for Teachers of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Standards after four years of study in the language. To gain the most from the world languages program in the county, students should study at least to the intermediate level (LEVEL 4) of one language, then go on to Advanced Placement study in that language or begin gaining proficiency in a third language.
How/when can my child apply to attend one of the Governor's Foreign Language Academies?
Contact your child's World Language teacher and/or click here for details.
Does ACPS offer credit by examination?
Yes. Interested students should connect with their school counselor for details about the process.
What is the Seal of Biliteracy and how can my child earn it?
This is a diploma seal that certifies a student's attainment of a high level of language proficiency in one or more languages in addition to English. Click here for more information.
Albemarle, Monticello, and Western Albemarle High Schools offer French, German, Spanish, and Latin. Albemarle High School also offers Japanese. Murray High School offers Spanish. Course offerings each year are dependent on enrollment and teacher availability. Please refer to the Program of Studies for specific offerings at each school in a particular year.
For some additional statistics and descriptions for World Languages in ACPS, see this page in the Improve Opportunity and Achievement section.
Lead Coach, World Languages & ESOL - Cyndi Wells
International & ESOL Office/ Department of Student Learning