Richard Donato (Ph.D., University of Delaware) is Associate Professor of Foreign Language Education in the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh, PA.
A Multiple Perspectives Analysis of a Japanese FLES Program
Article first published online: 31 DEC 2008
© 1994 American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
Foreign Language Annals
Volume 27, Issue 3, pages 365–378, October 1994
How to Cite
Donato, R., Antonek, J. L. and Tucker, G. R. (1994), A Multiple Perspectives Analysis of a Japanese FLES Program. Foreign Language Annals, 27: 365–378. doi: 10.1111/j.1944-9720.1994.tb01214.x
- Issue published online: 31 DEC 2008
- Article first published online: 31 DEC 2008
ABSTRACT This paper describes the development, implementation, and evaluation of the first year of a three-year pilot project to teach Japanese to all students in grades K through 5 at a Pittsburgh elementary school. Curriculum development followed ACTFL recommendations for proficiency-based instruction. End-of-year information was collected from learners, parents, the Japanese teacher, and other school teachers. Results of student oral interviews indicated the development of a range of proficiency along the novice continuum. Data from prochievement interviews, teacher, and independent observer ratings indicated that an earlier start may result in more uniform gains for the majority of learners. In addition, a strong positive correlation was found between children's awareness of parental encouragement for language study and their Japanese attainment. All parents sampled cited specific examples of what their children had learned and a majority expressed strong positive feelings about the class. Within this positive context, we noted nonetheless an indication by the teacher of perceived program marginalization within the larger framework of the school's offerings. This and other factors associated with program implementation and the children's attainment are topics for continuing investigation and documentation.