Language Immersion Programs
It seems absurd to have your kids go to a school
where they are taught almost entirely in a foreign
language, but more and more parents are doing it.
The question is why? With all of the information
they have to process why add one more barrier?
While it may seem like an information overload,
the way that some of these preschools,
kindergartens, and grade schools are set up can
actually lead to better results. With all of the
immigrants moving out to Long Island and other
parts of the country this offers opportunities for
their children to maintain their mother tongue.
Schools are set up so that children actually learn how to read and write in the immersion language first.
They are completely immersed in the language and then as they get older it starts to even out to half
and half of English and the other language.
If you think about it, because we everyday life is all in English here in America, it makes sense that they
teach only in the other language. This makes it so the student learns English naturally in their own
environment. It is a natural way of making home a school.
Start Learning Early
Many studies have proven that learning a language before the sixth grade comes a lot easier than
learning in later years. The benefits of having a language behind your belt while you’re young are
obvious but some of the learning advantages are not.
Learning another language actually gives a child another paradigm to view life on. This only enhances
his or her learning and helps them outperform other students who just learn English in school. Actually
many of these students even outperform other students on
standardized test results.
There are often several concerns that parents bring up when
they talk about language immersion programs. One of these
is the fact that their children could run into a lot more
frustrations as things might not come very easy for them. So
how do teachers help these students?
Many teachers are able to address the needs of students by using visual illustrations and give students
clues. This is a way of building communication bridges and helping them build confidence in their
So what about parents who don’t speak the immersion language themselves?
There have been thousands of students in the situation where
they come home with homework that is in a language that
parents can’t decipher. These students are able to succeed
because their parents continue to teach the same subjects but in
English. They are able to learn how to switch over quickly.
Successful immersion students come from diverse backgrounds
and this is one way to offer your children more diversity in their
lives. As they learn about other cultures by actually learning a
language they will begin to appreciate others in a much more
substantial way. Parents that support these programs find
themselves gaining this self-same appreciation as well.
Whether you are in California or Long Island there are immersion programs for your students and
starting them as young as in preschool can be very beneficial.
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