In order to prepare our students for the global society in the 21st century, the Foreign Language Division of the Department of Instruction affords students from elementary through high school the opportunity to study an array of foreign languages. The Foreign Language program includes Foreign Language in the Elementary Schools (FLES), Spanish at the Middle Schools (SAMS), and Secondary Foreign Language instruction.
The unique Foreign Language in the Elementary School (FLES) program, currently in all of LCPS elementary schools in grades 1-5, provides students with Spanish instruction. The goals of the FLES program are to capture children's ability to learn a second language at an early age, to encourage awareness of cultural differences at an early age, to afford students the opportunity to participate in a global society, and to provide increased readiness for secondary foreign language study. This content-based program revisits the Standards of Learning of select content areas and is designed to develop language proficiency while reinforcing content area skills. Students continue to build their Spanish language skills through the Spanish at the Middle School (SAMS) program in grade 6. As an extension of the FLES program, SAMS is designed to serve as a bridge to the secondary foreign language program.
The secondary foreign language program begins in grade 7. Sixty four percent of grade 7 and 82% of grade 8 students are currently enrolled in high school foreign language classes. Choices of languages include French, German, Latin, Spanish or Spanish for Fluent Speakers. Throughout high school, students may continue the study of these languages to the Advanced Placement Level or begin a three-year program of American Sign Language or Mandarin Chinese. Through these programs, the LCPS Foreign Language Office provides the skills and preparation for students to have a broad understanding of the world, proficiency in other languages, and knowledge of other cultures.