Building Better Bridges: Middle School to High School Articulation In Foreign Language Programs


  • Elizabeth Rieken,

    1. Interprep lnc., Atlanta, GA
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      Elizabeth Rieken (Ph.D., University of Illinois) is a consultant with Interprep, Inc., Atlanta, GA.

  • Wilson Kerby,

    1. Fern Bacon Basic Middle School, CA
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      Wilson Kerby (M.A., California State University at Sacramento) is a teacher of exploratory Spanish, German, and Japanese at Fern Bacon Middle School, Sacramento, CA.

  • Frank Mulhern

    1. Wissahickon School District, PA
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      Frank Mulhern (M.Ed., University of Maryland) is Supervisor of Foreign Languages for the Wissahickon School District, Ambler, PA.


ABSTRACT  Research was conducted to identify factors that facilitate a smooth transition from middle school to high school for foreign language students. Data were collected via survey to determine the type of program subjects taught in, degree of success in transition, problems in achieving effective articulation, and effective articulation strategies. Results indicate that middle schools are more likely to offer either exploratory or sequential programs; fewer middle schools offer both of these two program types. In many cases, the programs are viewed as being in conflict. Almost half the respondents indicated that articulation was not successful in their schools. Findings also indicated that the greater the number of articulation strategies practiced, the greater the likelihood that successful transition would occur. Also, different articulation methods made a difference in success of transition.