Michigan State University
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Center for Language Teaching Advancement (CeLTA)
Okemos World Languages Partnership
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Okemos World Languages (OWL) Partnership



The Okemos World Languages (OWL) Partnership is a collaborative project between Okemos Public Schools and Michigan State University (MSU), specifically the Teacher Preparation Program and the Center for Language Teaching Advancement. OWL is a bi-weekly after-school program that introduces Okemos children in grades 1-4 to different languages and cultures. It is an introductory opportunity for students to practice basic communication skills in mainly Spanish and German. In order to diversify each child’s language exposure, we will also feature French and Chinese lessons every two weeks. We aim to expose students to world languages and encourage them to pursue whichever language they enjoy in the future. Introducing languages in any capacity at a young age is invaluable. Additionally, learning a second language (or third, or fourth) is a process that continues for a lifetime, and we are excited for this opportunity to provide your children with a new way of developing their academic and interpersonal skills.

Our lessons actively engage the students in the learning process. We incorporate a variety of language activities, games, and cultural information to cater to different learner types and learning styles. Our lessons emphasize functional language use and cultural awareness. The lessons are implemented by pre-service student instructors from the Teacher Education Program at MSU under the supervision and guidance of MSU faculty mentors.

The OWL Partnership incorporates the following elements:

  • communication in the target language in real-life situations,
  • student-centered activities based on what students need, already know, and can do,
  • prioritizing cultural awareness and integrating culture in every aspect of language instruction, and
  • catering to diverse learning styles, while encouraging the development of a wide range of skills.

In Spring 2017, the program will be held at Okemos Public Montessori at Central. Classes will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4pm-5:30pm starting the week of January 17, 2017. Classes will not meet during the following weeks:

  • March 6-10 (MSU spring break)
  • March 13-17 (parent-teacher conferences)
  • April 3-7 (schools spring break)

Enrollment is available at http://www.okemosonline.com/.

For any questions related to the program, feel free to contact the Teacher Education instructors Katie Cook (cookkat8@msu.edu) or Ashley Fuente (amoore@msu.edu).