District 97 Looks for More Foreign Language Education
Early plans call for more Spanish, French instruction in Oak Park classrooms.
Though plans are in the early stages, Oak Park Elementary School District 97 Supt. Al Roberts and other school officials say they're trying to give the district's foreign language program a shot in the arm.
“My concern is that, particularly with primary grade youngsters, repetition is key to learning a foreign language,” Roberts told TribLocal. “Over the years, due to budget reductions, I think we have become less effective than we need to be.”
But now, more than a month after Oak Park voters approved a referendum property tax increase, school officials are looking at ways to bulk up the district's foreign language offerings.
According to the article, one of the ways to make that happen is through aligning foreign language instruction with existing curriculum, which may require more personnel and more technology.
“A successful foreign language program needs to stand on its own merit, but it also has to be connected to our curriculum in a way that our youngsters are getting a double dose of learning,” Roberts said. “An example I often use is if in math we are studying cardinal and ordinal numbers, why wouldn’t we also learn cardinal and ordinal numbers in Spanish class?”