Mark Edwards, former Superintendent of Mooresville Graded School District in North Carolina, recognized that after years of talk about preparing their students for an increasingly global society, specifically one that is more multilingual, he wasn’t seeing enough progress. (See The Next Generation of World Language Learning report & infographic for more information about world language learning and global competence.)
Because he believes “language acquisition is not an amenity, it is a necessity,” a goal was set to give students in Mooresville, regardless of their available resources at home, access to high-quality language learning tools.
With the support of teachers and the community, he brought the idea to fruition across the district. Here is a numerical look at their language program:
- 3,000 students across eight schools. Mooresville Graded School District is about 6,000 students, so nearly half of students were a part of the initial initiative.
- 45+ minutes of language learning each week. Students each spent at least 45 minutes a week learning another language using the Rosetta Stone K-12 Language Learning Suite. Students had universal access, meaning they could use their online program at home and gain additional language learning time.
- One Implementation plan. A strong plan to ensure the initiative would actually happen.
While the astounding numbers typically tend to be the primary focus, one strong implementation plan can be so pivotal in reaching those numbers and seeing the success of an initiative. An implementation plan includes details that will help guide and support the work. It is particularly important when schools or whole districts take on a new program because each context has a different student population and needs that should not be ignored.
For example, a district may need to consider the daily schedule. When will be the best time during the blended learning day to use a program like Rosetta Stone? Will each school site will be working on the same language? (Mooresville students got to pick their language–sometimes four languages in one classroom were being learned at a time).
Other key implementation plan questions to consider:
- Who is responsible for making each part of the plan happen?
- Who will it benefit? Students? Teachers? Both?
- What is the vision/purpose of this initiative and what does the initiative entail?
- What are the tools and resources available?
- Where will teachers and students go to find resources?
- Where do teachers keep track of student learning?
- When will teachers meet to discuss progress and ideas?
- When do teachers in the district move on to the next stages of the plan?
- Why is the district taking on this idea opposed to another?
- Why will students love the initiative?
- How does the program work and how will educators facilitate the sessions?
- How will the district ensure fidelity and know if they have been successful?
Teachers and leaders in the district had to agree upon the implementation plan and, as a result of working together toward the same ideas, Mooresville has seen great success with its language program.
Students using the Rosetta Stone tools in language labs facilitated by high-quality blended learning teachers have helped to:
Take an idea -> create an implementation plan -> meet goals for teaching & learning!
Many agree that these are good ideas, but without a solid plan for implementation, they’re just ideas.
Over the next few months, we’re working with Rosetta Stone to create a set of Implementation Toolkits for blended world language learning. We believe world language teachers are uniquely poised to support the shift to blended, competency-based learning and look forward to creating tools in partnership with Rosetta Stone Education to inform and empower them.
Watch to learn more about the initiative in Mooresville
Stay tuned to the Get Language Ready initiative for more information about the toolkits.
- Equity for English Language Learners: Quality Two-Way Immersion
- All Children Should be Bilingual: The Dual Language Economic Imperative
- Six Steps to Reinvigorate Language Learning
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