Texas Ed: Comments on Education from Texas

July 9, 2007

Language immersion is only for Spanish speakers

Filed under: education, Texas — texased @ 3:53 pm

There is going to be a pilot program that teaches classes in both English and Spanish to those who only speak one or the other language. Never mind that

MySA.com: Metro | State

Research shows children who learn two languages at an early age outscore students in traditional monolingual classrooms, she said.

Representative Debbie Riddle of Tomball doesn’t think it’s a good idea.

MySA.com: Metro | State

Under the program, half of each class where possible would consist of English-speaking children.

Riddle said children should study foreign languages in a separate course and that schools should not force them to learn academic subjects in two languages.

She also believes Spanish-speaking children should learn English by being immersed in English. Some believe that English immersion is the most effective approach.

So if English immersion is effective for Spanish-speaking children, wouldn’t Spanish immersion be effective for English-speaking students rather than learning Spanish as a separate course?

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  1. My district already has dual language English/Spanish now but they may add more languages as our population changes. It started with Kinder and 1st. Last year 2nd grade was added, and next year it will move to 3rd grade. The kids are taught in both languages one day in English, the next day in Spanish.

    This is voluntary program for English speaking students. Their parents choose to put them in the program. If a parent of a Spanish speaking child wants any instruction in Spanish they have to use the Dual Language program. We also have regular classrooms were all instruction is in English.

    The students from Spanish speaking homes are making great progress in English. Much more progress than the kids in the Bilingual program (Last year 3rd – 5th it is being phased out as dual language moves up each year.) The kids in Dual Language don’t pretend to not understand what an English speaking teacher says – but that might also be a function of age. K – 2nd graders still want to please their teachers.

    Spanish speaking teachers on campus tell me the students from English homes are doing very well in Spanish.

    I’ve also noticed a change in the social aspect of school. In the grades with a bilingual class – those children often do not mingle with the other kids on the playground and during other free time. The kids in the dual language program play with all the other kids in their grade. The English speaking students not in Dual Language are learning some Spanish as a natural function of playing with the Dual language kids.

    I like the changes I see on our campus from having Dual Language. I hope it continues.

    Comment by Kimberly — July 9, 2007 @ 11:23 pm

  2. Learn the language of the country you live. Subjects should be taught in only one language. The second language should be chosen by the student, and it should be for the joy of learning a new language. It is horrible to teach the same subect in two languages.

    Comment by Judi — January 23, 2008 @ 5:33 pm

  3. We found that kids enjoy singing and reciting as they learn Spanish. Even if they just mouth nonsense that sounds like Spanish, they are learning the intonation of the language and it is a basis for further learning.

    Comment by pancho — July 20, 2008 @ 10:08 pm

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