District Elementary School Foreign Language Programs

The many elementary school foreign language programs vary in goals and outcomes. The following program models are listed in order of increasing intensity:

Foreign Language Experience (FLEX);

Foreign Language in Elementary Schools (FLES);

Content-based FLES; and

Partial and full immersion.

The partial immersion model in the District will be known as the Foreign Language Immersion (FLI) model.

The District offers the FLES and the FLI programs as options for students learning a second language at the elementary level.

Students participating in these foreign language programs are not subject to provisions outlined in Chapter 89 of the Administrative Code.

Elementary School Foreign Language Models

For purposes of this regulation, the elementary school foreign language program models are as follows:

The FLES model supports primarily English dominant students to develop speaking and listening skills in a second language through a natural sequence of language learning in a class that meets two–five times per week for 20–40 minutes.

The FLI model supports primarily English dominant students to become bilingual, bicultural, and biliterate in English and a partner language where half of the school day is taught in English (English language arts and social studies) and the other half is taught in the partner language (mathematics and science). The language is the vehicle through which the regular school curriculum is delivered and taught.



The purpose of FLES is as follows:

The program supports academic content area instruction.

Students will develop increased cognitive skills.

Students' reading development will be enhanced in both English and the second language.

Students will gain global awareness and cross-cultural understanding.

Students will develop increased functional proficiency in all aspects of the second language with each year of study.

The program meets District, state, and national foreign language standards.


The purpose of FLI is as follows:

Students will develop a high level of proficiency in the foreign language.

Students will develop positive attitudes toward those who speak the foreign language and toward the culture(s).

Students will develop English language skills commensurate with expectations for the students' age and abilities.

Students will gain skills and knowledge in the content areas of the curriculum in keeping with curricular-stated objectives in these areas.


Any student in the attendance zone of the campus implementing a FLES program is eligible to participate as long as the program is made available to that particular grade level. The campus can decide at which grades the FLES program is implemented.

Parents who want their children to participate in the FLI program will be required to sign a commitment letter and to submit a student application. In the event of limited space, all students will be entered into a lottery process.

In accordance with law, access to the elementary school foreign language programs will not be based on race, creed, color, religious affiliation, age, or disability. [See EHBE(LEGAL)]

Enrollment and Grade Levels

Enrollment in the FLES program begins at the kindergarten level and may continue to the upper elementary grades depending on campus availability of resources.

Enrollment in the FLI program begins at the kindergarten level and will continue without interruption through the elementary grades.

Language Proficiency

A student will not be allowed to enter the FLI program after grade 1 unless the student is transferring from another immersion program or performs satisfactorily on a language proficiency exam in the second language. The District will use a state- or District-approved language proficiency test for all students in FLI programs to establish a baseline and to monitor data in both English and the second language.

Application Process and Time Line

There is no need to apply for the FLES programs.

Parents will submit applications and commitment letters for FLI programs by the end of February. At this time, each school will determine if a lottery will need to be conducted in order to fill the available spaces in the FLI program.


The District will conduct a lottery when applications to the FLI program exceed the number of spaces available. After the lottery, the students who are not admitted into the FLI program will be placed on a waiting list. If a space becomes available, the principal will use the waiting list to fill the empty spaces for the remainder of the academic year.

Appeal Process

The District or campus will notify parents of the outcome of the lottery via a letter. If a parent is not satisfied with the outcome, the parent may appeal in writing to the coordinator of world languages/executive director of special programs within 15 business days after the date of the letter. In consultation with the principal, the coordinator will determine acceptance or denial of the appeal and will inform the parent, in writing, of the decision.

FLI Transfers

If there is space available for students outside the school's attendance zone, such students may apply for a transfer in order to participate in the FLI program. Upon admittance to the FLI program, the District will issue a curriculum transfer. A student on a curriculum transfer for the FLI program must abide by the District transfer policy. [See FDB(LOCAL)]

A student in an FLI program who moves to a different attendance zone or returns to the home school will have priority and will be allowed to enroll in the FLI program if there is space and staff available.

Sibling Transfers

A sibling curriculum transfer request for the FLI program will be allowed if space and staff are available at the sibling's grade level. [See FDB]


Transportation will not be provided to students participating in an FLI program at a school outside of the attendance area in which they reside. [See FDB(LOCAL)]

Support of Program Goals

The Board and the administration will support the FLI programs by hiring and retaining highly qualified staff, funding appropriate professional development, and providing program facilities and instructional resources.

Expectations for Participants

Each student enrolled in the FLI program will:

Commit to the program throughout the elementary school grades; and

Maintain a high record of attendance.

Each parent of a student enrolled in the FLI program will:

Enroll the child in the FLI program at the selected school for the next five or six years;

Ensure that the child attends school every day and is brought to school on time and picked up on time;

Help the child in developing literacy and content knowledge through participation in a rigorous curriculum developed in two languages by supporting and encouraging the child to do his or her best every school day;

Attend parent conferences and workshops and support the school by actively participating in school activities;

Cooperate and play a key role in the academic, linguistic, and social-emotional development of the child by communicating frequently with the classroom teacher; and

Agree to have the child assessed for language proficiency in English and the second language, along with other yearly academic assessments.

Teachers of the FLI program and administrators will commit to:

Setting high academic expectations that will engage all students in preparation for post-secondary success in a bilingual, bicultural, and biliterate global society;

Preparing and delivering instruction in two languages in order to provide academically rigorous material to promote student learning and achievement; and

Engaging parents in the learning process to ensure success for each student.


The District will conduct an annual formative and summative evaluation collecting a full range of data to determine the program's impact on students' linguistic, academic, and social-emotional development.


The District will determine the language proficiency assessments that each student will take.

Austin ISD


LDU 2014.07

DATE ISSUED: 9/22/2014