We are pleased to inform you that your child will be part of FLES, an academically enriching award-winning program offered by The Rye City District. FLES is an acronym for Foreign Language in the Elementary Schools and also referred to as Foreign Language Early Start. FLES is an introduction to Spanish language acquisition and embraces the pedagogical ideals of the Natural Language Approach and Total Physical Response (TPR) methods. The FLES Program in the Rye City School District focuses on the New York State World Language Standards and is aligned with the World Language Standards for Checkpoint A. FLES exposes students to an early start to Spanish language acquisition that will be continued in middle school.
Students in FLES meet twice in a 6-day cycle for 40 minutes as a part of their specials rotation. Instruction is consistently conducted in Spanish to expose students to the language and culture as much as possible. Comprehension of content is made possible through the usage of non-verbal cues such as gestures, mime, role-play, visuals, realia, intonation, and body language. Content is presented in real-life and content-related contexts. Language acquisition is fostered by communicative tasks including games, songs, rhymes, chants, and other hands-on activities. Topics are introduced in a way that appeals to different learning styles and addresses multiple intelligences. Instruction is differentiated and scaffolded in such a way that learners become increasingly independent. This instruction helps to strengthen skills learned in other disciplines, such as graphing, patterning, classifying, acute listening skills, geography skills, global awareness, and more. Lessons are highly communicative and dynamic. Instruction is age-level appropriate, taking into consideration the level of language experience, as well as student interest. Lessons are designed to address diverse learning styles and needs.
The early study of a second language offers many benefits for students, including academic achievement, positive attitudes toward diversity, flexibility in thinking, a greater sensitivity to language, and increases in self-esteem and creativity. The youngest brains have the greatest aptitude for absorbing language by improving their listening skills and pronunciation. Someone who is bilingual at a young age will have an easier time learning a third or fourth language in the future and understanding their native language. By introducing early language learning in the Rye City School District, we are not only reinforcing the content areas but also empowering our students with the linguistic and cultural tools needed in today's increasingly competitive and diversified world.