Russian Language and Culture
With the assistance of federal FLAP (Foreign Language Assistance Program) funds, the SFUSD began its first Russian FLES (Foreign Language in Elementary School) program at Argonne in 2007. There are 370 K-4th grade students from different backgrounds receiving Russian language instruction and there are also 34 students in the after-school Russian for Heritage Speakers program in grades K-4. Students in the FLES K-2 program receive Russian language instruction twice a week for 30 minutes, while 3rd and 4th grade students receive instruction twice a week for 45 minutes.
Russian for Heritage speakers classes meet also meets twice a week after school for 45 minutes. The FLES program will add a grade level every year until it becomes a full K-5 articulated program in 2012. For a full schedule, please visit our schedule page.
The curriculum is based on folktales and Russian literature, songs and poetry — a rich resource for cultural lessons. The thematic units align with national and California state standards and the curriculum provides a comprehensive framework for building and developing oral skills, communicative competency, and literacy. Culture is an integral part of the curriculum, a natural and organic element that is woven into its tapestry and introduced through hands-on activities, story telling, poetry, games, drama, and role-play. Visuals, puppets, colorful illustrations and hand-made materials create an environment that enables children to learn the Russian language.
Our Russian program at Argonne supports the vision of the SFUSD. One of the goals of its strategic plan is to graduate students with the skills/capacities required for successful 21st century citizenship (academic competence) that include a high level of multilingual/multicultural skills.
The research shows that:
Synapses that exist in a young child’s brain to support language learning disappear if they are not used, making it harder to learn a language as one ages. In addition, young children are able to acquire accent and intonation with more facility than older students and adults. In studying a foreign language, students gain a greater understanding of their own language, and this study also enhances their listening skills and memory. The age of 10 is a crucial time in the development of attitudes toward nations and groups perceived as “other,” according to research of Piaget, Lambert and others. Learning a second language promotes cognitive development, which supports academic achievement. Data from the Admissions Testing program of the College Board show that verbal scores of students on the SAT increased with each additional year of foreign-language study. With a growing global economy, there is an increasing demand for job applicants who speak another language”.
For more information: please visit our Russian Class Website