Foreign Language in the Elementary Schools (FLES)

studentFrequently Asked Questions:

What is FLES?

FLES is an acronym that stands for Foreign Language in the Elementary School . It is an approach to language learning that allows students to develop basic communicative skills in a language while reinforcing and enriching content in other disciplines.


The FLES model provides all students in an elementary school with language learning opportunities. Research studies have indicated that the early study of a second language results in cognitive benefits, gains in academic achievement, and increases in self-esteem, creativity, and positive attitudes toward diversity.

What does the FCPS FLES model look like?

The FCPS FLES model develops students' language proficiency by providing language instruction that supports the concepts taught in the subject areas at the respective grade level. Generally, programs have 30 minutes of instruction two to three times per week, which is articulated through middle and high school. FCPS FLES model is based on the research that shows that students are not only able to learn but are also highly engaged in learning content through the target language. In addition, the culture of the target language is integrated into instruction.

What are the FCPS FLES Program goals?

The goals of the FCPS FLES program are

  • To support academic content area instruction
  • To develop increased cognitive skills
  • To enhance reading development in both English and the target language
  • To promote global awareness and cross-cultural understanding
  • To develop increased functional proficiency in all aspects of the language with each year of study
  • To meet district, state and national foreign language standards

What does the FCPS FLES curriculum look like?

The FCPS FLES curriculum for each grade includes:

  • Performance objectives
  • Cultural integration
  • Content/linguistic focus (with suggested vocabulary and activities)

The foreign language instruction is linked to all content area subjects taught in the regular classroom (i.e., math, science, social studies, health).

How is FLES taught?

FLES instruction is proficiency-oriented. This means that there is a greater focus on meaningful and purposeful communication than on grammatical mastery. Students are encouraged first to understand and then to produce in the language. The target language is used by both teachers and students.

How is the FCPS FLES program articulated from 1st grade to high school?

The FLES program is based on four thematic units at each grade level. The themes are aligned with the FCPS Foreign Language Program of Studies for Grades 7-12 and mirror the spiraling progression of the other content areas. The FLES program is also aligned with the National Foreign Language Standards.

Is there a list of schools participating in the FLES program?




  • Beech Tree ES
  • Sleepy Hollow ES


  • Chesterbrook ES
  • Clermont ES
  • Fairview ES
  • Fairhill ES
  • Hollin Meadows ES
  • Mt. Vernon Woods ES
  • Oak Hill ES
  • Providence ES
  • Shrevewood ES
  • Wolftrap ES


  • Aldrin ES
  • Kent Gardens ES


  • Orange Hunt ES


  • Mantua ES


  • Gunston ES
  • Fox Mill ES


  • Bailey’s ES
  • Belle View ES
  • Belvedere ES
  • Brookfield ES
  • Cherry Run ES
  • Churchill Road ES
  • Clearview ES
  • Columbia ES
  • Colvin Run ES
  • Cunningham Park ES
  • Daniels Run ES
  • Dranesville ES
  • Flint Hill ES
  • Floris ES
  • Fort Hunt ES
  • Franklin Sherman ES
  • Graham Road ES
  • Greenbriar West ES
  • Groveton ES
  • Haycock ES
  • Keene Mill ES
  • Little Run ES
  • Navy ES
  • Oakton ES
  • Parklawn ES
  • Pine Springs ES
  • Poplar Tree ES
  • Rose Hill ES
  • Sangster ES
  • Silverbrook ES
  • Terra Centre ES
  • Terraset ES
  • Waples Mill ES
  • West Springfield ES
  • Willow Springs ES
  • Woodburn ES
  • Woodley Hills ES


More about the FLES Program (Play video)

Quick Links:

McLean Pyramid Chinese Language Program Parent Meeting

Instructional Services

World Languages

Elementary World Languages Programs

Secondary World Languages Programs

Credit Exam

Virginia Seal of Biliteracy



World Languages Office

Gregory Jones

Hae-Kyung Choi
Administrative Assistant


Christina Oh
World Languages Specialist

Rudy Smith
Curriculum Resource Teacher


Beatrix Preusse-Burr
World Languages Specialist

Karina Prudencio
Curriculum Resource Teacher

This web page contains links to one or more web pages that are outside the FCPS network. FCPS does not control the content or relevancy of these pages.



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Rebecca Tenally

Last Updated

October 10, 2014