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Immersion Program Parent Information Meeting - Edina Public Schools

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					       Immersion Goals

Normandale French Immersion (K-6)
 Valley View Extended French (6-9)
     Edina High School (10-12)

       Edina Public Schools
      Immersion Goals K-12
The goals of immersion education are:
 To achieve competency in the second
 language (listening, speaking, reading, and
 writing)
 To acquire the same English Language Arts
 skills as students in English-only schools
 To master content areas
 To gain a greater understanding and
 appreciation of other cultures
   The Gains From Immersion
The following slides detail some of the
findings of nearly 40 years of research on
the benefits of a long-term immersion
education relative to :
  Language development
  Cognitive development
  Academic achievement
  Cultural awareness
 The Gains From Immersion
Language Development:
Most immersion students can be expected to
reach higher levels of second language
proficiency than students in other school-
based language programs (Met, 1998).
 The Gains From Immersion
Cognitive Development:
In addition to reaping the social and
economic advantages of bilingualism,
immersion learners benefit cognitively,
exhibiting greater nonverbal problem-solving
abilities and more flexible thinking (see
reviews in Met, 1998).
 The Gains From Immersion
Academic Achievement:
Immersion students achieve as well as or better
 than non-immersion peers on standardized
 measures of verbal and mathematics skills
 administered in English (Cloud, Genesee, &
 Hamayan, 2000; Genesee, 1987).

The immersion experience actually enhances
 English language development (Cloud,
 Genesee, & Hamayan, 2000).
 The Gains From Immersion
Cultural Awareness:
Becoming bilingual opens the door to
communication with more people in more
places, and many parents want to provide their
children with skills to interact competently in an
increasingly interdependent world community
(Met, M.).
In The Words of Our Graduates…
 “We are a part of a larger community that goes
 beyond the walls of our school or city. We are
 uniquely linked to each other and to the world
  because we have a better understanding and
        appreciation of other cultures.”
Feedback From Our Graduates
Survey data shows that college admissions
officers look for more than just test scores. On a
student’s transcript, an immersion experience
shows evidence of:
– Unique experiential learning
– Capacity to learn in a variety of ways
– Application of skills across disciplines
– Risk-taking and leadership
Immersion Language Results
Research also shows the following about immersion
students’ language skills:
Students’ speaking and writing skills lack
grammatical accuracy and do not display the variety
and complexity produced by native speakers of the
language. (Fortune & Tedick, 2003).
Yet immersion students demonstrate fluent
speaking skills and are willing to take risks with the
language. Traditional program students usually
aren’t as confident in those skills.
Immersion Language Results
Immersion students have a strong second language
base upon which to continue moving toward
full proficiency and to develop proficiency in
subsequent languages.

Achieving high levels of oral and written proficiency
in a second language is a long-term process. A
long-term commitment is essential.
(Fortune & Tedick, 2003)
           Staff Reflections
In ongoing dialogue, the secondary staff agrees on
 these important points:

 Immersion students display a facility for learning
 languages which remains even as students get
 older. Most immersion students can accelerate
 through the beginning levels of learning a new
 language in High School or College.

 There is more than one way to demonstrate the
 benefits of an immersion experience. Those
 benefits won’t necessarily be revealed via the
 French language.
          Staff Reflections
French is not easy for every student.

This is similar to other content areas that
students have studied for years: the complexity
of French grows as it does in other content
areas like Math.

The spectrum of student abilities is as wide in
our content as it is in other content areas.
          Staff Reflections
A smooth transition from middle school to
high school is critical. We have intentionally
supported this transition through:
 differentiated curriculum offering in Gr. 9
 curriculum design & alignment (e.g. Culture
 Courses)
 assessment & course counseling
Example of the Culture Courses
In Grades 7 & 9 French Culture courses were created to
respond to needs identified by the high school teachers.
The courses follows the cultural curriculum of the
traditional French program that immersion students
never learned because they were studying core content
through language.
In the culture courses, students apply their French
Language Arts skills while studying culture in much
greater depth than is possible in the traditional French
program.
            In Summary
To continue moving toward full proficiency,
students need a long-term commitment to the
immersion program.

The secondary program gives students the
opportunity to deepen their cultural
understanding and expand their language
skills.
                Bibliography
Met, M. (Ed.). (1998). Critical issues in early second
language learning. New York: Scott Foresman—Addison
Wesley
Fortune, T. & Tedick, D. (2003). What Parents Want to
Know About Foreign Language Immersion Programs.
ERIC Digest
www.cal.org/resources/digest/0304fortune.html
Cloud, N. Genesee, F., & Hamayan, E. (2000). Dual
language instruction: A handbook for enriched
education. Boston: Heinle & Heinle.
Genesee, F. (1987). Learning through two languages:
Studies of immersion and bilingual education. Rowley,
MA: Newbury.

				
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