Recent Educational Projects

ATLANTA PUBLIC SCHOOLS (APS) 

Foreign Language Proficiency Program

Why and how the effort was begun?

In 1992, Atlanta Public Schools (APS) began implementing an elementary foreign language program.  Schools and grade levels were added over the course of the next six years.  In 2001, following an internal review and a task force study of the program, APS commissioned the International Center for Accelerative Learning (ICAL) to create a proficiency-based foreign language program, which included 25 days of training for all elementary foreign language teachers throughout the district and lesson plans for Novice Low through Intermediate High for grades K-6 Spanish. A mentor/assessor group was identified and teachers in that group received an additional 15 days of training.  The proficiency-based program is being implemented in a six-year roll out and is currently in its sixth year system-wide.

Who the effort is targeting?

Spanish teachers in 4-6 and K-6 foreign language programs received 25 days of training in best practices, and received ICAL lesson plans and materials.   French teachers received 25 days of training in best practices to apply to the adopted French program already in use.

How the effort is being operated or funded?

The pilot was jointly funded by APS and ICAL.

What outcomes have been produced as a result of the effort?

Currently, a proficiency-based Spanish program has been developed for grades K-6;  Most K-5 foreign language teachers have been trained to use the ICAL proficiency system;  a team of 20 internal coaches and assessors have been trained to test student proficiency;  the assessors have made two annual system-wide assessments to verify that students are in fact increasing their language proficiency;  after six years, students at most schools have achieved proficiency goals of Novice Mid to Novice High proficiency; APS is currently considering how to correlate proficiency with test scores.

© The International Center for Accelerative Learning (ICAL) - 2062 Harobi Dr., Atlanta GA  30084 - tel: 404-538-5063 / fax: 775-924-2219