The department provides support and assistance in the development of foreign language programs, world language standards and curriculum implementation.
California’s Language Programs
California offers a variety of language programs, beginning in elementary school, continuing in middle school and most typically in comprehensive high school. Elementary programs include immersion, Foreign Language in the Elementary School (FLES) and Foreign Language Experience (FLEX) that differ substantially in the contact hours allocated to the curriculum. These programs need to be age-appropriate in order to address students’ cognitive, emotional and social needs. Some middle schools also offer immersion and FLEX programs as well as introductory courses that may be equivalent to the first and/or second year of high school study. High school programs traditionally offer a four or five-year sequence preparing students for the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) II examinations in language and often culminating in the Advanced Placement and, less frequently, the International Baccalaureate program in language and literature. Programs for heritage and native speakers can include immersion, specialized courses designed to meet learner needs and accommodations for these learners within the foreign language classroom. The standards provide an organizing principle to ensure the continuous development of student proficiency, irrespective of the multiple points of entry and exit from California’s language programs.