Program Info

ArlingtonPublic Schools

Departmentof Instruction

World Languages Office

Foreign Language in the Elementary School (FLES) Program Overview

Program Description

The acronym FLES stands for Foreign Language in the Elementary School.

Arlington Public Schools currently offers a sequential, proficiency-oriented, content-enriched FLES model that is part of an integrated K-12 sequence for the study of Spanish.


Our mission is to provide high quality foreign language instruction at a developmentally critical time in a student’s language development. Students participating in the FLES program begin to develop basic communicative skills in the target language while reinforcing and enriching content in other disciplines.


The goals of the Arlington Public Schools FLES program are:

1) Develop functional proficiency in Spanish at the beginning stage of language acquisition. A proficiency level within the Novice-Mid to Novice-High range is expected after completing a K-5 sequence of study. This proficiency target is determined by following the American Council on theTeaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) K-12 Proficiency Guidelines.

2) Provide a meaningful context for developing communication skills in Spanish.

3) Promote global awareness and cross-cultural understanding by studying the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world.

4) Strengthen the language competency of Spanish-speaking students (native or heritage speakers).

5) Support academic content area instruction.

6) Support Arlington Public School’s Strategic Goals 1 and 2: Ensure that Every Student is Challenged and Engaged and Eliminate Achievement Gaps.