Friday, October 16, 2009

Dual Immersion program works

I am writing in response to last Wednesday's article on Hispanics at Woodside Elementary. I live in Woodside and worked at the elementary school for two years. The school is a wonderful school, as are the children, and the teachers are dedicated to seeing that they get a good education.

What created the United States as we know it today was, and still is, the immigration of people from other parts of the world who were looking for a better life. Hispanics who are in the community are no different. They want a better life for their families.

Immigration has made us what we are today—a multicultural, multiracial society. I welcome it. And I want my grandchildren to grow up to understand and appreciate that people come in all ways and colors, and bring with them beliefs and traditions that are different from theirs. Since no one person or society has all the answers, why should we not learn from each other?

The Dual Immersion Program is voluntary. No child is placed in the program whose parents have not approved of it. Since Spanish is the fourth most common language spoken in the world, the English-speaking children enrolled in the program will be able to travel to any country where Spanish is spoken and communicate.

The version of Spanish taught in our schools is influenced by the fact that it is the most common on this side of the Atlantic. That's comparable to our children learning our own version of English in the United States. It is not the same as the king's English or the English of Australia or New Zealand or South Africa or India. Nevertheless, our children will be able to understand the English spoken elsewhere, just as they will be able to understand the Spanish spoken in Spain.

My grandchildren are enrolled in the Dual Immersion program and are loving it.

Anne Elliott


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