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Spanish immersion elementary schools? What do you think?

Posted by on Aug. 21, 2013 at 7:23 PM
  • 19 Replies

Early immersion is a method of teaching and learning a foreign language. It entails having a student undergo intense instruction in a foreign language, starting by age five or six. Frequently, this method entails having the student learn all or much of his or her various "regular" subject matter (such as mathematics and science) via the foreign language being taught.

It has been found that students enrolled in an early-immersion program learn the language being taught at an almost-native proficiency by age 11. Such students do show a lagging behind their peers (that is, those peers who are not enrolled in an early-immersion program) in reading, spelling, punctuation, mathematics, and science for the first few years. However, such immersion-enrolled students do eventually catch up with their peers in the aforementioned areas 

by on Aug. 21, 2013 at 7:23 PM
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Replies (1-10):
the3Rs
by Platinum Member on Aug. 21, 2013 at 7:27 PM
I know someone whose kid has been in a French immersion school since Kindergarten. It's interesting, but I wouldn't do it.
Marti123
by Platinum Member on Aug. 21, 2013 at 8:14 PM
I just don't know, I would really want my child fluent in Spanish, but I would really not like to see him behind in academics to get there!
mrsary
by Bronze Member on Aug. 21, 2013 at 8:15 PM
I think that would be awesome.
arthistmom
by Bronze Member on Aug. 21, 2013 at 9:00 PM

Our older son attends a language magnet school that offers Spanish, German, Italian, and French, employing the immersion model. (He's in the Italian program.) We love it and all the families we know feel the same way. It's not for everyone but the families whose children are in the program believe their kids are getting an extraordinary learning experience.

arthistmom
by Bronze Member on Aug. 21, 2013 at 9:07 PM

We were warned that our kiddos may be behind academically compared to their same-grade peers in English-only classrooms up to the third grade (there's no difference academically between the two groups by the fourth grade). But the results of the state testing they took this past spring (the end of second grade) showed it not to be true--our kids did well and held their own. Needless to say, we were pleased and surprised.

If this option is available to you in your area or if you are seriously considering it, I would suggest reading the research on bilingualism and its advantages, which are many. It's really fascinating.

Quoting Marti123:

I just don't know, I would really want my child fluent in Spanish, but I would really not like to see him behind in academics to get there!



jessyroos
by on Aug. 21, 2013 at 9:11 PM
Immersion programs are commonplace in Canada since we have two official languages. I would say there is usually one immersion school for every three to four non-immersion schools here. I would absolutely send my child to an immersion program because I believe having a second language is a valuable skill. Where I live I have the choice of French or Spanish immersion for my child and will most likely choose Spanish.
orliesmom
by on Aug. 21, 2013 at 9:12 PM

i dont know. I wouldnt do it. If it wasnt required like a previous person said and it was an option to send your kids there then ok but if it was part of the regular education I wouldnt like it at all. We are an english speaking country and while it is good to learn other languages I dont think it should be forced on children. I am hispanic and I didnt learn to speak it in school. Still as an adult I know very little spanish. My husband is fluent in it and he is half white.

I think speaking multiple languages should be optional to the student only.

As a hispanic person myself I still find it highly annoying that there are many spanish speaking people here in the US that do not bother to learn english and expect everyone else to know what they are saying.

levansbx
by Bronze Member on Aug. 21, 2013 at 9:42 PM
There was a push for this in the mid eighties too. I went to bilingual school and started learning Spanish in kindergarten. By the time I was in third grade, I wasn't allowed to speak English in my Spanish classes and even wrote a story in Spanish and learned math and other subjects in Spanish.

In fourth grade I moved to a different school district and left the program. I could have continued though high school. Wish I had now!
calsmom62
by Silver Member on Aug. 21, 2013 at 9:49 PM
our town has spanish 2 way in one of the elem schools. the idea was to give english speakers an immersion program and spanish speakers a progressivev English program while taking core subjects in their native tongue and both groups would learn from each other. in reality the kids benefitting are the english speakers while the spanish speakers are losing ground on state test scores .. but for true immersion I am for it as have seen it work for our oldest two. we put them in international schools abroad and they were fluent within a couple of months.
cjsmom1
by Platinum Member on Aug. 21, 2013 at 11:03 PM

I wish there was one near me, I'd love to put ds in one.

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