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kissmekate02
kissmekate02 asks:
Q:

Should we stick out our language immersion school?

Does anyone else have their children in a language immersion school? My daughter is in kindergarten this year and we decided to put her in our district's Spanish immersion school. It was kind of a rocky start, and she seems to be doing better, but her father is really second-guessing our decision. I'm more inclined to just push forward and stick it out. I'm just wondering if anyone else has been in this situation or has any thoughts on the matter.
In Topics: Choosing a school, Learning a second language
> 60 days ago

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Edu-Katherine
Edu-Katherine writes:
Hi Kate,<br />
<br />
I've got several family members who not only were in second language immersion schools and have had their children in immersion as well. In our case it was French. &nbsp;It may seem strange at first, but the kids get used to it and the thought is that having a second language under their belts is a head start in university and overall good for them in the long run. &nbsp;It's been a positive experience on our side. Now, of course, that's just our own experience and others may have different experiences, but I thought I would just share our own with you.<br />
<br />
<br />
How is your child doing in the immersion? You mention a rocky start.<br />
<br />
Edu-Katherine<br />
Community Team<br />
<br />
> 60 days ago

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kissmekate02
kissmekate02 writes:
Thanks Katherine; it's nice to hear positive experiences. She's definitely doing better, although she sometimes asks when she can go to &quot;English kindergarten.&quot; I think part of the problem may be that in her class, there is a higher ratio of kids who are native Spanish speakers. There are supposed to be 10 and 10, but I think 15 of the kids in her class already speak Spanish, so I can see where she would feel out of place. And I hate to stereotype, but of the four K classes, she got the one male teacher. He's great, but it might have been more comfortable for her to have one of the women. Overall, I think things are going fine, but I hope her father (we're divorced) doesn't push for changing schools at the end of the year. I think that would put her at a disadvantage.<br />
> 60 days ago

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kat_eden
kat_eden , Parent writes:
Hi Kate,<br />
<br />
The spanish immersion school in our town increases the amount of English used each year (so in K it's almost all spanish, in first grade it's a little more english, and by the end it's 50/50). &nbsp;Maybe if yours works the same way it will give your ex (and your daughter) more hope that it will get easier from here. &nbsp;It would be a pity to have her get through the first (and toughest) year only to give up!<br />
<br />
Our son is not in that school (we moved across the country weeks before he started and I felt like starting an immersion school was too much to throw at him at once!) but I love the idea of it and friends who have their kids there really love it. &nbsp;You're giving her a great gift of learning another language (and learning how to succeed in challenging environments).<br />
<br />
Kat<br />
> 60 days ago

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bkrawez
bkrawez writes:
My 4-year old daughter has been in spanish immersion preschool for 1.5 years now. &nbsp;She is doing terrific and is totally fluent in both languages. &nbsp;Immersion has been great for us and we are hoping to find a kindegarten in the area that is spanish-immersion as well. &nbsp;I think your instincts are right to stick with it, I'm sure in no time your daughter will think learning in another language is perfectly normal. &nbsp;She may be at a disadvantage b/c many of the other kids already speak spanish but at such an early age she will catch up before you know it!<br />
<br />
Good Luck!<br />
> 60 days ago

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sushinorii
sushinorii writes:
When I was 5 my parents chose to put me in a Japanese Bilingual Bicultural Program (JBBP). It was obviously not the same extent that your daughter's Spanish immersion program is, but it was a great experience for me. Most of my classmates knew no Japanese, although a few were native speakers. I continued taking classes through eighth grade, but had to stop when my high school didn't offer the language. But it taught me how to learn a language, and now after almost four years of Spanish I am close to fluent, so from a student's perspective I would say to stick it out if you can.

Just an idea, maybe you could have your daughter try to teach you and/or her father some Spanish. This might help boost her confidence and also her father's if he sees how much she is learning, and make it fun for her because she would know something her parents don't.
> 60 days ago

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Deb.C.
Deb.C. writes:
I used to have both my girls in a Spanish immersion school.  I pulled both out, but I'm not 100% sure I did the correct thing. My eldest, is a 3rd grader and youngest, 1st. This is their first year of homeschooling and it's tough, but o.k. so far. My eldest, had 3 years of the immersion school and can read and write Spanish quite well. She understands everything, and can communicate o.k. My youngest went for one year only and understands a lot. I am thinking of putting them back in - not sure. Only because the school offers two diplomas (one from Spain) and sometimes I think they miss it. It is very tough learning the two languages at such a fast pace (and I can even practice with them - but still), and one other factor is that it has low scores.  Because of No Child Left Behind, the school is under a bit of pressure to do good on tests and pushes them quickly in the curriculum. My eldest is an introverted child by nature and when she gets home - she was so irritable and fatigued, I pulled her out (and her sister) due to health concerns. She's happy at home, but I can only homeschool for possibly one more year and I keep wondering if they are missing out.  I don't want it at the expense of their health. Please let me know how it works out for you. Best.
> 60 days ago

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annemoyer
annemoyer writes:
My children, who are in kindergarten and in second grade, are both in our public school's 50/50 mandarin immersion program. My second grader has been having trouble behaving in mandarin, and tells us that he hates it every day. He has had no trouble during his English speaking classes. It is very hard to know what to do. The strain that this has caused him is starting to affect the entire family.
> 60 days ago

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Catstew
Catstew writes:
My daughter is in grade 4 at a full immersion school (German) and although the first 3 years were great the last 1.5 have been quite challenging and I wrestle with the thought of moving her. The very early years are fine but it seems to me that as the work becomes more complex it is harder for the children who don't have the second language support at home. Most of the children in her class speak German at home and we don't speak it at all. Ultimately I see that this is causing a great disadvantage to her.  However, despite these reservations I do believe there are long term benefits for future language learning and i think she needs the last few years of primary school to cement what she has learnt. My recommendation for anyone thinking about immersion is to be prepared to create a lot of opportunities  to support the 2nd language in real situations. I would imagine that for Spanish in the U.S. this would be easy. Being able to visit Spanish speaking countries and speaking to people outside of school will make a huge difference. For us in Australia, German is particularly difficult, there's not really many people speaking it and it's a long way for a holiday so the language for her is really isolated to school. If you know you can really support the language then it's worth it but from my experience  I don' recommend it if you can't.
> 60 days ago

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TeacherandParent
TeacherandP... writes:
It's a very good question and I wonder if by now you've made your decision. I think in life it would be a very good thing for any child to grow up with Spanish as well as English. The use of Spanish in our country seems to be growing rapidly. And I think too the best time to learn a language is as a child.
How did the other children do? Was it a rocky start for everybody? I think a rocky start might be very normal - to shift from your own language into a class where a different language is spoken.
But it might be worth it. I think as time goes by you'll see a clear answer to this good question. Some children do take to it and others don't but it takes some time to figure it out.
If my own children were young, I would seriously consider putting them into Spanish language immersion - I admire what you're doing and trust it will all work out for the best one way or the other. If you decide to pull her out, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that you tried and just found it wasn't right for her.
> 60 days ago

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Dannyl220
Dannyl220 writes:
I wonder if anyone knows of any resources for parents that are trying to help their children who are struggling in an immersion program?  Specifically first grade spanish
> 60 days ago

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D_Smom
D_Smom writes:
I would strongly recommend to stick to the language immersion school. English is my second language but I also speak Italian, can understand French and Spanish quite well. Because my native language is Romanian, it was easy for me to access other Latin languages. From my experience, knowing a second or a third language is like having access to two or three times more things than otherwise.
You are lucky to have an immersion school nearby. I have been desperately looking for one in where I live and there are none around.
My daughter is 15 months and already understands Romanian and English but I am looking to add another language. Don't give up!
> 60 days ago

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BDail
BDail writes:
Our 5 yr old is in a Spanish immersion program and doesn't seem to like it at all.  She frequently says she doesn't like Spanish and wants to go to an English school.   It doesn't help that the class she is in is 16 girls/9 boys and 6 out of the 24 have discipline issues, they're terrible quite frankly.    It also doesn't help that the teacher has missed more than 2 weeks of school this year AND we've missed 10 days to snow/ice so far.  She cried back in Oct/Nov for about a week when we dropped her off and has started to cry again this week.  We're really unsure about what to do.  She's a very social child, kind of a free spirit and this program is quite strict. I would love to hear from a parent whose child hated immersion and stuck it out anyway.  Despite her dislike of Spanish, the teacher says she's doing well reading and writing in Spanish.
> 60 days ago

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