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dual immersion



 
 
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  #1  
Old October 7th 03, 07:19 AM
toypup
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Default dual immersion

DS knows Spanish and English. We speak English at home, and the dcp only
speaks Spanish. So, when it comes time for kindy in a few years, DS will
have the opportunity to be in a dual immersion program where 50% of the
classes are in English and 50% are taught entirely in Spanish. I like this
idea, but DH thinks DS will grow up to be only so-so in both languages. I
can see how the written language may suffer some, and it's only a
theoretical risk; but other than that, I don't see a problem. Has anyone
else had their child in a dual immersion program? What did you think? If
we don't do that, DS would still know Spanish, as it's spoken frequently in
this area, and I intend to hold onto the dcp for after school care. Would
it be better to keep him in an English only program until he's older, so
that his English reading and writing skills have more time to be ingrained?
He could always learn to read and write in Spanish in high school, though
maybe he won't do it as well if he learns it so late. This is a few years
down the line, but I'm always one to think ahead.


  #2  
Old October 7th 03, 08:10 AM
Denise
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Default dual immersion


"toypup" wrote in message
news:[email protected]
DS knows Spanish and English. We speak English at home, and the dcp only
speaks Spanish. So, when it comes time for kindy in a few years, DS will
have the opportunity to be in a dual immersion program where 50% of the
classes are in English and 50% are taught entirely in Spanish. I like

this
idea, but DH thinks DS will grow up to be only so-so in both languages. I
can see how the written language may suffer some, and it's only a
theoretical risk; but other than that, I don't see a problem. Has anyone
else had their child in a dual immersion program? What did you think? If
we don't do that, DS would still know Spanish, as it's spoken frequently

in
this area, and I intend to hold onto the dcp for after school care. Would
it be better to keep him in an English only program until he's older, so
that his English reading and writing skills have more time to be

ingrained?
He could always learn to read and write in Spanish in high school, though
maybe he won't do it as well if he learns it so late. This is a few years
down the line, but I'm always one to think ahead.



I don't think its ever too early to begin thinking about teaching kids other
languages. I grew up speaking English and Spanish at about the same rate as
your child. English at home, Spanish in a school program and with
babysitters and family friends.
Its much easier to learn a foreign language when you're young. Knowing one
foreign language is a good base for learning other languages. I've since
moved on to Russian.
I don't believe that my English suffered, at all, as a result of not being
fully devoted to learning one language in childhood. If anything, knowing
Spanish helped me understand "root words" and expanded my vocabulary in high
school.
I say go with your gut, but I don't think any harm could come from the dual
immersion program.

-D




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  #3  
Old October 7th 03, 11:36 AM
XOR
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Posts: n/a
Default dual immersion

"toypup" wrote in message news:[email protected]
DS knows Spanish and English. We speak English at home, and the dcp only
speaks Spanish. So, when it comes time for kindy in a few years, DS will
have the opportunity to be in a dual immersion program where 50% of the
classes are in English and 50% are taught entirely in Spanish. I like this
idea, but DH thinks DS will grow up to be only so-so in both languages. I
can see how the written language may suffer some, and it's only a
theoretical risk; but other than that, I don't see a problem. Has anyone
else had their child in a dual immersion program? What did you think? If
we don't do that, DS would still know Spanish, as it's spoken frequently in
this area, and I intend to hold onto the dcp for after school care. Would
it be better to keep him in an English only program until he's older, so
that his English reading and writing skills have more time to be ingrained?
He could always learn to read and write in Spanish in high school, though
maybe he won't do it as well if he learns it so late. This is a few years
down the line, but I'm always one to think ahead.


I'm not familiar with the dual immersion program for school in the US,
but I am around many bilingual families (in some cases trilingual when
the dcp speaks a 3rd language) and grew up with many bilingual
friends. Also, many of these kids are currently in the local
equivalent of a 'dual imersion' program, just not in the US. My
partner and I each have a different native language and intend to
raise our kids bilingual. (Schooling will depend upon what country we
are living in at the time)

Speaking from this experience and observations, your child *will*
likely be a little behind in each language *at first*. Very quickly he
will catch up. To me, that is far better than trying to learn the
second language later. I would do everything possible to continue his
Spanish education throughout. The *best* time to fully learn a
language is when they are young. Yes, it WILL be somewhat confusing
and perhaps take a little extra time to sort out the two, but in time,
if he continues, he'll be fluent in both.

In many countries, a second language (often English) is introduced in
the earliest grades. However, these aren't usually immersion 50/50
programs. If you are at all concerned, I'd consider a school that
taught in English but had Spanish classes from day 1 (as opposed to
waiting until high school).

Your child is fortunate, IMO. Growing up bilingual (with any language)
is a huge advantage.
  #4  
Old October 7th 03, 12:51 PM
Beth Kevles
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Posts: n/a
Default dual immersion


Hi -

There are three different dual-language immersion programs in our area
(Washington DC), all of which are very highly regarded. You might want
to give them a call or look at their web sites to get some information
on how that kind of program works. The schools a

The Washington International School (DC)
The Rock Creek International School (DC)
Rolling Terrace Elementary School (in Takoma Park, MD)

We have our kids in a 1-way immersion program (Spanish, you must already
speak fluent English to enter). I don't really know how the two kinds
of programs compare. I DO know that kids with two languages often lag
until about 3rd grade, but then pull ahead of their peers not only in
lanugage, but in mathematics. (I read one study; it was SES corrected.)

I also know that kids who don't study their first language in an
academic fashion in elementary school (as is the case with many native
Spanish speakers in our area) can't keep up with the immersion kids in
Spanish when they hit middle school. You'll also notice that many
colleges now offer courses in academic Spanish for native speakers of
the language who don't have a background in reading and writing
academically in Spanish. (I saw the Yale book of courses, recently, and
it had a series of such classes for native Spanish speakers who couldn't
yet take regular Spanish literature courses.)

I hope this helps.
--Beth Kevles

http://web.mit.edu/kevles/www/nomilk.html -- a page for the milk-allergic
Disclaimer: Nothing in this message should be construed as medical
advice. Please consult with your own medical practicioner.

NOTE: No email is read at my MIT address. Use the AOL one if you would
like me to reply.
  #5  
Old October 7th 03, 09:27 PM
toypup
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default dual immersion


"XOR" wrote in message
om...
I'm not familiar with the dual immersion program for school in the US,
but I am around many bilingual families (in some cases trilingual when
the dcp speaks a 3rd language) and grew up with many bilingual
friends. Also, many of these kids are currently in the local
equivalent of a 'dual imersion' program, just not in the US. My
partner and I each have a different native language and intend to
raise our kids bilingual. (Schooling will depend upon what country we
are living in at the time)

Speaking from this experience and observations, your child *will*
likely be a little behind in each language *at first*. Very quickly he
will catch up. To me, that is far better than trying to learn the
second language later. I would do everything possible to continue his
Spanish education throughout. The *best* time to fully learn a
language is when they are young. Yes, it WILL be somewhat confusing
and perhaps take a little extra time to sort out the two, but in time,
if he continues, he'll be fluent in both.

In many countries, a second language (often English) is introduced in
the earliest grades. However, these aren't usually immersion 50/50
programs. If you are at all concerned, I'd consider a school that
taught in English but had Spanish classes from day 1 (as opposed to
waiting until high school).

Your child is fortunate, IMO. Growing up bilingual (with any language)
is a huge advantage.


I understand the advantage of being bilingual. I was bilingual as a child,
but lost it as I grew up. I just wonder if schooling completely 50/50 is
good. I'd like it better if they had it 80/20 or so throughout grade school
so that his English would be stronger. I just wonder if his fluency in
English reading and writing would be just as strong if it was 50/50. I've
never known anyone who was schooled 50/50, but I know many bilingual
families and was raised in one myself. When I was young, we had our native
language taught once a week on the weekends. That was enough to learn basic
reading and writing. It's just the excessive schooling that DH is so
concerned about, and I have some reservations myself after he brought up his
concerns.

DS will always know Spanish, I believe, because it is such a common language
around here, so I'm not afraid that he'll lose it. I'm just wondering how
much formal education he should have in it.


  #6  
Old October 7th 03, 09:27 PM
toypup
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default dual immersion


"Beth Kevles" wrote in message
...
We have our kids in a 1-way immersion program (Spanish, you must already
speak fluent English to enter). I don't really know how the two kinds
of programs compare. I DO know that kids with two languages often lag
until about 3rd grade, but then pull ahead of their peers not only in
lanugage, but in mathematics. (I read one study; it was SES corrected.)

I also know that kids who don't study their first language in an
academic fashion in elementary school (as is the case with many native
Spanish speakers in our area) can't keep up with the immersion kids in
Spanish when they hit middle school. You'll also notice that many
colleges now offer courses in academic Spanish for native speakers of
the language who don't have a background in reading and writing
academically in Spanish. (I saw the Yale book of courses, recently, and
it had a series of such classes for native Spanish speakers who couldn't
yet take regular Spanish literature courses.)

I hope this helps.


Yes, it's very insightful. How much time is spent out of your child's
school day learning Spanish? Do you see his English reading and writing
skills suffering at all? I know they say kids with two languages eventually
pull ahead, but do they mean only kids who are bilingual because their
family speaks a different language or are they referring to the kids in the
immersion programs? I understand that kids from bilingual families can do
quite well, but those kids are schooled 100% in English. I'm wondering
about kids who only spend 50% of their time being schooled in English.


  #7  
Old October 7th 03, 09:50 PM
Ruth Baltopoulos
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Posts: n/a
Default dual immersion

"toypup" wrote:

: DS knows Spanish and English. We speak English at home,
and the dcp only
: speaks Spanish. So, when it comes time for kindy in a few
years, DS will
: have the opportunity to be in a dual immersion program
where 50% of the
: classes are in English and 50% are taught entirely in
Spanish. I like this
: idea, but DH thinks DS will grow up to be only so-so in
both languages. I
: can see how the written language may suffer some, and it's
only a
: theoretical risk; but other than that, I don't see a
problem. Has anyone
: else had their child in a dual immersion program? What
did you think? If
: we don't do that, DS would still know Spanish, as it's
spoken frequently in
: this area, and I intend to hold onto the dcp for after
school care. Would
: it be better to keep him in an English only program until
he's older, so
: that his English reading and writing skills have more time
to be ingrained?
: He could always learn to read and write in Spanish in high
school, though
: maybe he won't do it as well if he learns it so late.
This is a few years
: down the line, but I'm always one to think ahead.

In the town where I reside, the local Public Schools offer
French Immersion and Spanish FLES (Foreign Language in
Elementary School) programs. I have heard more about a
learning lag in the Immersion program than in the FLES. The
immersion has been around for quite a few years longer; I
believe the first High School graduates of the program were
in 2001. All seems well with them FLES has been around
for about five years, and I can't recall hearing anything
other than positive feedback from the parents that I know
who have kids in the program.
--
Ruth B -- Remove the blinders to send email

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read, lions eating Christians, people nailing each other to
two by fours. I'll say, you won't find that in Winnie the
Pooh."




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  #8  
Old October 7th 03, 10:42 PM
toypup
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default dual immersion


"Ruth Baltopoulos" wrote in message
news:[email protected]
In the town where I reside, the local Public Schools offer
French Immersion and Spanish FLES (Foreign Language in
Elementary School) programs. I have heard more about a
learning lag in the Immersion program than in the FLES. The
immersion has been around for quite a few years longer; I
believe the first High School graduates of the program were
in 2001. All seems well with them FLES has been around
for about five years, and I can't recall hearing anything
other than positive feedback from the parents that I know
who have kids in the program.


Thanks. That would guide me more towards a foreign language program rather
than a 50/50 immersion program.


  #9  
Old October 8th 03, 12:18 AM
Beth Kevles
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Posts: n/a
Default dual immersion


In response to your questions:

----------------- the questions ---------------
Yes, it's very insightful. How much time is spent out of your child's
school day learning Spanish? Do you see his English reading and writing
skills suffering at all? I know they say kids with two languages
eventually pull ahead, but do they mean only kids who are bilingual
because their family speaks a different language or are they referring
to the kids in the immersion programs? I understand that kids from
bilingual families can do quite well, but those kids are schooled 100%
in English. I'm wondering about kids who only spend 50% of their time
being schooled in English.

--------------------------- end questions ---------------

My kids are in school for 6 1/2 hours each weekday. Of that time, about
four hours are spent exclusively in Spanish. (The others include lunch,
recess, English (starting in 2nd grade -- age 8) and specialists (art,
music, library ...).)

We work with the kids on reading and writing at home. Those English
language skills haven't suffered at all. I did notice that some of the
kids in my older child's class had trouble learning to read in English
(Spanish is much easier, after all) but ALL were fluent readers by the
end of 2nd grade.

The study, as I recall, indicated that children in immersion programs
lagged behind their peers in **their native language** until 3rd grade.
provided that they received SOME academic instruction in their native
language, they caught up with their peers during the 3rd grade year and
surpassed them soon thereafter. An hour a day seems to be sufficient
(not from the study, but based on my observation of my older child's
class).

I think if you go to the AskERIC web site you may find some studies on
the 2-language topic. If you can't find them doing a search of the
database, don't hesitate to submit a question. The specialists there
are very helpful, and it's all FREE.

--Beth Kevles

http://web.mit.edu/kevles/www/nomilk.html -- a page for the milk-allergic
Disclaimer: Nothing in this message should be construed as medical
advice. Please consult with your own medical practicioner.

NOTE: No email is read at my MIT address. Use the AOL one if you would
like me to reply.
  #10  
Old October 8th 03, 12:21 AM
Beth Kevles
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default dual immersion


Hi, again --

I think that Ruth may live near me. We also have FLES (foreign language
in elementary schools). It tends to be one hour a week, no homework.
The kids all love it, but they certainly don't learn to speak the
language! It's more of a tasting program.

I strongly recommend that you get in touch with the schools I mentioned
before, the ones with 2-way immersion programs. They are truly the
horse's mouth :-)

--Beth Kevles

http://web.mit.edu/kevles/www/nomilk.html -- a page for the milk-allergic
Disclaimer: Nothing in this message should be construed as medical
advice. Please consult with your own medical practicioner.

NOTE: No email is read at my MIT address. Use the AOL one if you would
like me to reply.
 




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