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Three Innovative Programs: Comparisons and Conclusions

Authors

  • Jean-Pierre Berwald PhD

    1. Assistant Professor of French and Director of the M.A.T. Program in French at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts.
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Abstract

ABSTRACT  During the latter part of the 1960's, a number of schools drew national attention for their attempts to counteract problems that had been plaguing foreign language instruction for years. New programs were being established to attract students of varying interests and abilities as well as to stem the tide of decreasing enrollments. ‘Three such programs were those of West Bend, Wisconsin; Oxon Hill, Maryland: and the McChier High School, Ferguson-Florissant School District, Missouri. Oxon Hill's program was one of multi-level grouping, whereas those of West Bend and McCluer were individualized. In order to determine the success of these innovative curricula in terms of student/teacher satisfaction, a survey was conducted using the Jakobovits “Foreign Language Attitude Questionnaire” and a series of in-depth interviews with members of the instructional staff and randomly selected, second-level students from each program. The results of the survey show that while strong foreign language students reacted well to multi-level grouping, the individualized programs of West Bend and McCluer succeeded to a greater extent in providing satisfactory learning experiences to students of varying levels of ability.

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