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 Chinese, French, Japanese, and Spanish. 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 the year 2020-2021, our program offers online language classes to children who are in grades 1-4 in Okemos Public Schools. The programs are open to heritage language learners (children of families that speak language(s) other than English at home). Our classes are taught by pre-service teachers from the Teacher Education program at MSU under the guidance of MSU faculty members. We are offering the following programs in the Fall:  

  • Program 1: Spanish and Chinese 
  • Program 2: Spanish and French 
  • Program 3: Spanish and Japanese   

Who: Children in grades 1-4 whose native language is a language(s) other than English.  

When: Monday, Wednesday, 4:00-4:45 p.m. (10/5-11/8)  

The maximum limit of every program is 10 students. 

Children in our program will:  

  • Have early exposure and interactions with diverse languages and cultures
  • Develop their bilingual and biliterate potential and identities
  • Expand their understanding of cultures in local and global communities
  • Interact with students and teachers from different backgrounds

For any questions related to the program, feel free to contact the Dr. Jungmin Kwon jkwon@msu.edu  

Enrollment for the program will be available at http://www.okemosonline.com/.

Fall Online – Spring TBD