Monday, September 19, 2011

Kindergarten in Español

Skye was in preschool for two years. But she hit the “Big Time” this year and started Kindergarten. She rides the bus to her new school, where she's learning her subjects in both English and Spanish. A fairly new program to our area called "Dual Immersion".

In DI, the kids are taught content in both English and Spanish and at half-day, they flip flop so that each day, half their day is in each language. Mind you, they are not learning Spanish, they are learning Math and Science in Spanish. But, they will soak the language up like sponges.

Although we were told by the administration and teachers that kids will be frustrated in the beginning, and I mean, wouldn't you be if for half the day a teacher spoke to you in a language you didn't understand. But we’ve seen nothing but excitement and an incredible enthusiasm for learning from Skye. She comes home saying something new in Spanish every day...And I try my best to ask her questions in my broken Spanish to be a part of her world. I truly feel that she is having fun with this new world, and it warms my heart to see her building confidence in the classroom!

Students in the DI program will gradually begin to comprehend, and be expected to respond in Spanish as well. By the fourth grade, the kids should be fluent in Spanish, both reading and writing. How amazing is that! As a parent, I just need to encourage her every day to not give up on a class if she gets frustrated. But so far, so good!

We had a choice as to whether we wanted to put Skye in regular Kindergarten or the Dual Immersion program. I speak about three years worth of high school Spanish, and my husband is fluent in German. We both wish we spoke more languages, and we feel it’s such a gift to be given the opportunity to learn another language at an early age. To us, it was a no brainer. Now, we need to pull out our Rosetta Stone and get to learning because if we don't, her Spanish will pass us by.

1 comment:

  1. that makes 3 of us!! Otherwise you all will be talking about me and I won't know what is being said. You know, things like she needs to be in a "home". Or "GMA doesn't have a clue."