Foreign language immersion is a philosophy, a methodology and a viable academic program that affords children the opportunity to experience a percentage of their curricula activities solely in the target language.
Benefits to Being Bilingual
According to the Center for Applied Linguistics in Washington D.C., a non-profit organization dedicated to improving communication through better understanding of language and culture, and the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language, research shows that learning a second language at an early age:
- Has a positive effect on intellectual growth.
- Enriches a child’s mental development.
- Leaves students with more flexibility in thinking, greater sensitivity to language , and a better ear for listening.
- Correlates positively to student’s ability to hypothesize in science.
- Gives the child the ability to communicate with people whom she/he otherwise would not have the chance to know.
- Opens the doors to other cultures and helps the child understand and appreciate people from other countries.
- Gives the child a head start in language requirements for college.
- Increases job opportunities.
How can I help my child at home if I don’t speak Spanish?
Your child’s second language acquisition will not be hindered because you may not be able to communicate in Spanish. Homework is designed for children to work independently, by The district’s curriculum from K to 2nd grade is taught practicing and reinforcing the content presented in the classroom. Read aloud to your children in English on a daily basis
When will my child learn to read?
Initially, your child will learn to read in Kinder garden completely in the Spanish language, beginning with the first day of school. English Language Arts instruction begins in the third grade for a portion of the school day. Class time devoted to English will increase in the fourth and fifth grades. This program will continue into middle school and high school with classes specifically designed to challenge our immersion students.
The Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition CARLA has a very informative website with resources and research on immersion programs for parents and educators at carla.umn.edu
Spanish Immersion at Green Meadow
At the elementary school level, Spanish is the medium of instruction rather than the object of instruction. Immersion teachers work closely with corresponding non-immersion teachers to ensure that the Spanish Immersion curriculum parallels the English curriculum, and that there is a complete integration and delivery of the Massachusetts framework.
How can I contact parents whose children are currently participating in the immersion program?
Call the office at Green Meadow and names and contact information of parents eager to share their child’s immersion experience will be provided.
What should parents think about when considering this program?
The best decision can be made by thoroughly exploring all aspects of the program and speaking with parents and students to learn about the benefits of language immersion. Enrolling a child in this program should be viewed as a commitment. The goals of the program are best met when students stay with language immersion until they graduate from high school. It is not in the best interest of students or the program for students to be enrolled for only a one or two year “experience”.