FLES Program Launches at Park Avenue With French

FLES Program Launches at Park Avenue With French photo thumbnail136034
The flags of France, Canada, Haiti and other French-speaking countries line the back wall of a classroom at Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School, where students are learning a new language. 

This year, the district introduced the Foreign Language for Elementary Students program, commonly referred to as FLES. All fourth, fifth and sixth graders are learning French during the first half of the year, and then will begin Spanish instruction in the second half. Students have the option of taking French of Spanish upon entering Edmund W. Miles Middle School and the FLES program will give them a prior understanding of each upon entering seventh grade. 

Teacher Francesca Chery meets with each class for a full period once a week and began the year by teaching students their names in French as well as the pronunciations of the letters of the alphabet. She has also taught them greetings and other basic sayings. As the year progresses, students will learn words relating to topics such as family and food.

Every class features at least one song, as Ms. Chery said music is a way to make language learning fun while also helping with pronunciation. She also infuses French culture and customs into her class. She has introduced them to countries around the world where there are large French-speaking populations.