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A Multiple Case Study on Conditions that Sustain Elementary Foreign Language Programs in Rural Schools

Leyla Mahir Masmaliyeva, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


FLES is an overarching term used to describe a myriad K-8 Elementary school Foreign Language programs in the US. These programs are often grant-funded and frequently terminated when funding is over. The present study explored conditions that affect sustainability of Elementary Foreign Language programs in rural schools in Nebraska. Nine participants from three Elementary schools were interviewed in this multiple case study to explore factors that promoted, or prevented the implementation of the Foreign Language Program at their schools. The study involved three schools, one of which offered a dual language program, another provided some exposure to foreign language and the third one terminated its Elementary foreign language program upon completion of the grant. Data were collected via interviews, observations, field notes, and document analysis. A cross-case analysis revealed similarities and differences within the four themes that emerged: type of the program, joint effort, funding and staffing. Issues related to program model, goals of the program and intended outcomes were not always clearly stated nor understood by the participating schools. Commitment and joint effort appeared to be crucial for maintaining viable programs. The continuation of language programs was largely dependent on the extent of the level of commitment of the school personnel. The establishment of a K-12 endorsement in the areas of foreign languages can help address the issue of attracting qualified teachers to the rural areas, while ongoing professional development opportunities can assist in preparing High School teachers to teach at the Elementary level.^

Subject Area

Education, Foreign Language

Recommended Citation

Masmaliyeva, Leyla Mahir, "A Multiple Case Study on Conditions that Sustain Elementary Foreign Language Programs in Rural Schools" (2011). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3466254.