Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Dual Immersion plays a key role

I wish to share some information regarding our Dual Immersion program.

In 2006, the Committee for Economic Development made the following quote in its conclusion of language-development programs in the world:

"Experience has shown that 300 hours of instruction spread over two years is woefully inadequate for high-school students to develop any usable level of proficiency. Elementary-school students, who receive only 30-60 minutes of instruction per week, are even more disadvantaged. Schools may also need to change the way languages are taught. Time on task is important, which may mean greater use of immersion programs and content-based language learning, where subject matter drawn from the school curriculum is delivered in a foreign language."

Countries with vigorous immersion programs such as South Korea, Finland, parts of China and Indonesia are ranked among the top performers in academics. States with bilingual education distributed in K-12 programs perform the highest in the United States. If we do not take this data into consideration, then we will not be giving our students the education to be competitive in the world jobs market.

Also, Ellen Bialystok, a neuroscientist who has been studying language acquisition for decades, states, "If you have two languages and you use them regularly, the way the brain's networks work is that every time you speak, both languages pop up and the executive control system has to sort through everything and attend to what's relevant in the moment. Therefore, the bilinguals use that system more, and it's that regular use that makes that system more efficient."

Tell your board trustee that we need to maintain and expand the program that is showing high ISAT scores among peers, and that program is the Dual Immersion.

Sheri Thomas


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