Spanish immersion elementary school

@dorannmwin (36698)
United States
February 27, 2012 11:10pm CST
So, my little one is going to be starting kindergarten this fall, he turned five back in October but because of our state's laws he isn't able to start kindergarten until he is almost six years old. I went to the school to enroll him last week (it is the same school that my daughter goes to, she is in third grade right now). Well, as I'm filling out the paper work they tell me about a Spanish immersion program that they are offering as an option to families in the school's district. The kids will spend half days in a traditional classroom setting and the other half of their days will be spent in a Spanish only speaking classroom. This got me curious, if you had the option would you enroll your child in something like this? Why or why not? For me, I decided that it would be good for Paul because of the fact that he is a very bright child and all that I've heard from my daughter over the past four years is how she is bored at school, I figure this option will give Paul more of a challenge. In addition to that, I also think that his being eventually fluent in Spanish will help him in the long run when it comes to job skills and marketability.
2 people like this
16 responses
@cher913 (25890)
• Canada
28 Feb 12
we have french immersion schools here in Canada and because you need to speak french to work in a government job, these schools are usefull. my daughter however goes to a non immersion school but has taken french since grade 4 (which is manditory); took it in grade 9 (which is also manditory) but plans to take it throughout the rest of highschool (whicis not) so i think she will know enough french to take it in college if she so desires.
1 person likes this
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
28 Feb 12
See, even my daughter got to start Spanish in kindergarten, but it is only one hour a week. Still, I do think that makes a huge difference considering when I was in school we only got to start taking foreign language in fifth grade and couldn't choose to concentrate on one language until we were in 7th grade. I choose to start Spanish in seventh grade and took it through 10th grade.
• United States
28 Feb 12
I think it is great that he learns Spanish because it may give him more of a chance ot find work when he gets much older. With Paul being young it is easier for a young child to learn Spanish or any language as opposed to an adult learning a language. That is great that you want Paul to be challenegd in school to keep him from being bored at school.
1 person likes this
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
28 Feb 12
I also think that if he has the opportunity to be fluent in Spanish he might also have an interest in learning at least a working knowledge of another language when he is a little bit older.
28 Feb 12
I would most certainly enroll my children (hypothetical, of course at the moment) in any sort of advanced or extended learning environment. I dislike the spanish language because of personal experiences with instructors and class plans, but that wouldn't stop me from enrolling them. I would prefer French, but any language that is not English will be beneficial. Being bi-lingual by the time you graduate elementary school will help a lot in learning other languages as you grow older (if he decides to do that), and already knowing languages will give him an edge for college and future employers. I'm glad to see I'm not the only person who would think into the future with these kind of decisions.
1 person likes this
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
28 Feb 12
I do think that having a working knowledge of Spanish will highly benefit Paul in the future because of where we live. The area that we live in has a very high Hispanic population and for that reason alone it is valuable to be able to speak Spanish.
@daeckardt (6245)
• United States
16 Sep 12
I think it is always a good idea for kids to learn more than one language. Not only are they less likely to be bored because of lack of challenge, but with the economy going global it is important to be able to communicate in another language. On the same note, kids that don't yet speak English in our schools should be allowed to keep using their home language and learn English along with it. That way all students could have the chance to learn multiple languages. Thanks for sharing this!
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
17 Sep 12
I do agree with you that children that speak another language should be allowed to keep speaking their native language while learning English as well. However, I also made an observation at a meeting at school last week for a field trip that my nine-year-old is going to be taking and it really disturbed me that there is a little boy that is already in 4th grade that does not speak English. After four years of schooling, the child should at least be partially fluent in English.
1 person likes this
@daeckardt (6245)
• United States
17 Sep 12
I agree that if a child has been in the American education system they should at least try to learn English. I remember when I was in 5th grade that I didn't talk out loud in class for anything and it wasn't until the next year when the teacher threatened to spank me that I started talking out loud in class at all. It wasn't a language problem in my case...I just didn't want to talk. I wonder if some of it might be that kind of thing with that kid...
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
18 Sep 12
It could be partially due to that. However, the family did have a translator there at the meeting and the boy looked like he was totally puzzled when the teacher was speaking and picked up on it when the translator was speaking.
@marguicha (104138)
• Chile
21 Mar 12
I think it is a wonderful idea to have the opportunity to learn another language at a small age when it is easier. My native language is Spanish but we lived in the US for a year and a half in the US when I was 11. My parents bought a TV set immediatly and we learned more English watching TV than in books. Knowing another language is wonderful.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
21 Mar 12
I think I can see why you learned more English from watching the television than from reading books. The reason that I can see that is because on television you can see the language in action. In fact, the little bit of Spanish that my son does know right now comes from watching some preschool cartoons that use some Spanish.
@marguicha (104138)
• Chile
21 Mar 12
Your son will probably learn the essentials without the boring grammar and all that. Later on, if he wants, he can learn more. But he will always profit from his early learning.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
18 Sep 12
I suspect that the grammar and all of that stuff will be something that will come later on because all of the research that I've done on the program says that the students will be able to take AP testing to get college credit in Spanish when they are in high school.
@much2say (40552)
• United States
28 Feb 12
Out here in So CA, Spanish is a practical language. It's a definite plus to know Spanish, though I don't know how I feel about it as a "half day" lesson in school. I believe in our "big" school district, the languages that are offered in such schools are Spanish, Korean, and Mandarin. If those were my choices, I'd definitely pick Spanish for my children. What's interesting is the next elementary school over from us has Korean immersion. They have the best rating and test scores locally. I just read a review for that school and that person made some interesting points. For one, many Koreans live in this area, and many of them are enrolled in that school . . . so are they really "learning" Korean - when they already know the language. Second, they are saying it is the Koreans that raised the math API scores (that I don't know if it's true) - but many Koreans that I do know personally are having their children go to after school math programs that go beyond what is taught in school. Apparently the principal is at conflict with that program too, so I don't know what's happening there. I know some parents at our Y were not too sure about their kids going to a Korean immersion school (that was the first time I had heard of it). Out here, there are other opportunities to learn a language. I went to Japanese school every Saturday as a kid. I also learned Spanish in third grade - not Spanish immersion - but just part of the class afternoon lesson. Then again all throughout middle school - and I learned enough to get by (and I still remember a lot of it). I also picked up Mandarin in college. It's hard for me to teach my kids Japanese, so I would actually love it if there were a Japanese immersion program - but - that's not in our district apparently. Anyway, like I said, I don't know exactly how I feel about it (thus far we haven't had that option yet - whether it's my daughter's current school or the ones in the neighborhoods I've been researching on as we may move). The birthday issue has changed here too - my son will end up going to kingergarten a year later too.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
29 Feb 12
The birthday thing is something that has always thrown me. And, if it isn't bad enough already, there is talk that they are going to change it state-wide for the 2013-2014 starting class. That means that my niece, who is in head-start preschool right now as a three year old will have to spend a total of three years in that class before she would be allowed to start kindergarten.
@much2say (40552)
• United States
3 Mar 12
Yah, I don't get that birthday thing. I know for this coming fall, the deadline is set for November 1. Next year it'll be October, then the next year will be September. Not sure what will happen in following years. I'm not sure why they're doing it. It's throwing off a lot of people now . . . their kids won't be starting school at the "planned" time now.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
5 Mar 12
I guess that I'm just glad that my littlest one will be starting school before they start all of the changes. My honest thought, however, is that it should be based on the calendar year and that should be a nationwide standard so that confusion would be cut down.
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
11 Mar 12
I think that's a great idea! I think that as long as kids show signs of interest, or seem to be bright for their age, it would be great to give them more. If they can cope with it then I think that their future looks bright already. I'm sure that'll be an important tool for him when he grows up.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
12 Mar 12
The thing is that I wish that they'd had this option available when Kathryn was starting kindergarten as well. I know that it is something that will be very good for Paul and I can only hope that Kathryn decides to continue in Spanish when she is in middle school (all students at her elementary school do get one hour a week of Spanish).
@lumenmom (1996)
• United States
3 Mar 12
I think that immersion into foreign language is very good where the kids are young because their brains are not yet hard wired and they can absorb and assimilate material much easier. I would definitely take advantage of a program like that.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
5 Mar 12
I agree and I'm really excited about it. Not only will he be learning a second language, it is also going to give me the opportunity to refresh my Spanish and perhaps learn some more in the long run.
@RitterSport (2452)
• Lippstadt, Germany
29 Feb 12
hi dear dorannmwin would do that in a heartbeat too if I had kids and they would be interested in learning languages. Wish I myself could have learned the English language much much earlier than I actually did with 10 years old already.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
29 Feb 12
For me too, I wish that I would have had the opportunity to learn other languages at an earlier point in my life, I believe that I would have a better grip on them than I do learning as a teenager and young adult.
@ShyBear88 (18542)
• United States
29 Feb 12
Me no I wouldn't do. Yeah I'm half Hispanic but I don't know how to speak Spanish and my husband he can speak a bit more then I can but that is about it. I rather leave that up to my child when they are old enough to choice weather they want to learn another language or not. I really don't see when a little kid besides if there family is from that culture would be using Spanish outside of the class room. I know the early a kid learns it the better. Even when I was working I never had to use Spanish at all. Most all Spanish people that I ran into spoke perfect English its just that most of the time they where stubborn and didn't want to speak English out in public because well they just don't want use English.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
29 Feb 12
I think this is something where each person has their own opinion. For me, I think it will make him more marketable in the long run and also give him additional challenge at school, but I also know that the program is not something that is made for everyone.
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
29 Feb 12
It's probably not a bad idea really...
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
29 Feb 12
I really don't think that it is because of the increasing Hispanic population in our area.
@bunnybon7 (37710)
• Holiday, Florida
28 Feb 12
i guess you are right. its almost like our whole darn language is changing. my son way back in 80s was not going to let his wife, that was mexican speak spanish in their house in front of their child and i convinced him that was crazy. if she knew 2 languages she would be better off in this world. i did win out and now my gran daughter knows/speaks both fluently
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
29 Feb 12
I remember when I was younger it was a big deal when we had someone join our class at school that was from a different country. Now, my daughter's school doesn't have a majority race, it is pretty equal between caucasians, african americans and hispanic students. Seeing those changes in the world really make me believe that the knowledge of a second language is very important.
@jillhill (37383)
• United States
28 Feb 12
I also think it is a very good thing for the child.....learning another language at his age will be helpful all his life...and they learn so much quicker when they are young. Exposing them to all these different cultures can only be good.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
29 Feb 12
You are right. Children at his age are like little sponges and this will be something that will benefit him both now and in the future.
• United States
28 Feb 12
The more languages that your children are able to speak, the better. Starting early helps to ensure that the child will become fluent in the language, and this fluency does open more doors to them in the future. I plan to home school my future children, and studying several languages will be part of their education from an early age. There are classes and tutors available in this region for a variety of languages, so, despite my own lack of fluency in a second language, my kids should have a fairly firm foundation in a few other languages.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
28 Feb 12
That is a really good idea as well. I considered homeschooling, but I ultimately came to the conclusion that it wasn't something that would work for our family. I wish that it would, however.
@shaggin (38595)
• United States
28 Feb 12
I think that it is really neat that your school has that kind of program available. I had a friend who worked at a french immersion school. They did everything all day in french. I think that would be a little harder for the child I like how your school has a program they can do so that way they are learning both english and spanish. The kids who are smart and up to a challenge this would be very good for them. Its good to start them early they learn a second language easier that way.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
28 Feb 12
I can honestly say that I wouldn't like a situation where everything was done in the second language because that would cause their knowledge of the English language to not be as good. In this program they do their math and social studies in Spanish and their reading, English, spelling, science and extras are all in English.
• Malaysia
28 Feb 12
Learning other language is fun. I think if I was given a choice again at age 5, I would love to learn Spanish, French, Japanese or any other things. Children now a day are very brilliant and this is the best time for them to learn :)
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
28 Feb 12
I wish that I would have had this kind of an opportunity when I was younger. I mean my father did expose us to some Spanish when we were young and I think that made my learning of Spanish in middle school easier. So, he has already been exposed to a little bit of Spanish through me and also some of the preschool television shows that he likes watching. So I think picking up constant Spanish will really come easy to him.