Sixth grader Kynndel Johnson, can rattle off multiplication in rapid fire. Speaking in Chinese in a sing-song fashion, she said, “1 times 2 is 2; 2 times 2 is 4; 3 times 2 is 6; 4 times 2 is 8…” And on and on… all in CHINESE! “The Chinese times tables are easier to learn because it’s fast and gets in your brain,” she said. The FLICS program is designed to prepare exiting eighth-graders to be proficient in their chosen second language and to succeed at a college-preparatory high school.
Exiting eighth-graders are assessed for second language proficien-cy and have the opportunity to earn high school credit in global language and Algebra. FLICS also capitalizes on its proximity to Renaissance High School through male and female peer mentoring programs and a new grade 9 – 12 language continuation, allowing stu-dents to take advanced language courses taught by FLICS teachers at Renaissance. Detroit Public Schools’ technol-ogy-infused curriculum provides unique opportunities for students to polish their skills with native speak-ers.
Throughout the district, all students in grades 6-12 will have access to Net-book computers, and every teacher has a Netbook for classroom and home use. FLICS, like other schools, has new Apple MacBooks, and iPod touch units. Mobile learning is em-braced at FLICS; help-ing to reach students with the tools they use. Another program, begun last year, allows Spanish-speaking stu-dents to Skype with a class at the Institución Educative Distrital La Magdelena in Columbia, creating a real-time teleconference with students across the world. And even kindergartens are skillful with using iPods and other high-tech devices to hone their for-eign language skills.
The rigorous curriculum means that many FLICS students eventually matriculate to the district’s elite ex-amination schools like Cass Tech and Renaissance, but the school also has many programs for students who strug-gle in traditional classes. The school examines test data for each child, assessing their strengths and weaknesses, and caters individ-ually to children where they need assistance, according to Principal Losié. “We have extremely unique offer-ings that no other district has,” Losié said. “That’s how we roll.” Si! Oui! Shi! Hai! Who is at the Helm at FLICS?
Todd Losié is a veteran college-preparatory, high school language teacher and former High School Teacher of the Year. He is also a national speaker on second language instruction and a contributing writer for three French-language textbook series. What is Unique?Students (6th – 12th grades) and teachers are provided with Netbook computers, in addition to access to Apple MacBooks and iPod touch units.
All FLICS students are provided with iPods for classroom use. International Studies classes like the Institución Educative Distrital La Magdelena in Columbia, are avaialable via SKYPE.