New elementary language pilot started Tuesday

Jan. 27, 2010

First- and second-graders at Lincoln Elementary School started learning German on Tuesday as part of a new district pilot program to test out world language instruction for younger students.

Eva Tuinstra, who spent the first half of the school year researching and writing the pilot's curriculum, will teach the 25-minute class two to three times a week for each grade.

In addition, Tuinstra will teach one or more lessons remotely to students at Washington Elementary using distance learning technology. This experiment will give insight into how students receive instruction virtually, and will help evaluate whether the district can deliver the elementary world language curriculum to more schools while remaining cost-effective, said Beth Erenberger, director of student learning.

The pilot's price tag is small: Tuinstra uses 20 percent of her work time on the program and material costs were minimal.

If the pilot is successful and approved by both the district's Curriculum Council and School Board, it could be implemented districtwide as soon as next school year.

Tuinstra will give periodic reports to the School Board to update members on the pilot program's progress.


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