The goals of the foreign language WOW program are adopted from the National Standards for Foreign Language Education.
The five goals are:
- Communication – The student communicates in Spanish or French.
- Cultures – The student gains knowledge and understanding of other cultures.
- Connections – The student connects with other disciplines and acquires information.
- Comparisons – The student develops insight into the nature of language and culture.
- Communities – The student participates in multilingual communities at home and around the world.
The WOW Program employs a FLEX (Foreign Language Experience) instructional model whereby students gain experience in each of the five aspects of foreign language learning described above. FLEX programs are designed to introduce students to one or more foreign languages and cultures and to motivate them to pursue further language study. Proficiency in the target language is not a realistic goal of a FLEX program.
The WOW program goals are to capture children’s ability to learn a second language at an early age, to encourage awareness of cultural differences at an early age, to afford students the opportunity to participate in a global society, and to provide increased readiness for secondary foreign language study.
These goals are grounded on the following principles:
Children acquire language naturally and can readily learn a second language if the environment for the second language is similar to that of the native language environment.
Children understand the concept of culture through comparisons of cultures studied with their own.
Children reinforce and further their knowledge of other disciplines through second language acquisition.
Second language acquisition is considered one of the most powerful “brain builders.” Research shows that children derive many benefits—cognitive, academic, societal — from early language instruction.