Foreign Language Mini-Courses: Still a Good Idea


  • Edward V. Johnson

  • Edward V. Johnson (Ed. D.,—George Peabody College for Teachers) is a teacher of English and French at Mt. Juliet Jr. High School, Wilson County, Tennessee.


ABSTRACT Many high school students do not continue their foreign language study beyond the second year. A major cause of this is schedule conflicts. With a mini-course system, such conflicts can be minimized: students are not locked into a full-year commitment, courses are independent and flexible, and individualized learning programs can be readily organized. However, mini-course systems initially require much work, make continuity difficult, and often demand materials that students have to buy. Among the sources which can help a teacher to set up a mini-course system are materials on hand, materials catalogues, and students. The plan should involve the administration, a school-wide public relations program, and continual evaluation. In one school the advanced class enrollment tripled within five years after establishing a mini-course system.