• Language Immersion Method

    Immersion is a method of instruction in which the regular school curriculum is taught in the target language. The foreign language is the vehicle for instruction; it is not the subject of instruction. Beginning in kindergarten, teachers and students communicate in the target foreign language. It quickly becomes second nature.

    Immersion is the best way for a student to become fluent in a foreign language. It opens the door to other cultures. Early exposure to a second language enhances a child's understanding of English.

    Researchers say the early age proficiency in a second language enhances a child's cognitive ability, improves overall school performance and gives a student a competitive advantage in high school, college, and the workforce.

    Foreign language immersion prepares students for overseas travel and for the challenges and opportunities of an increasingly multilingual United States.

    Students have the opportunity to learn in a multi-cultural setting with children from all parts of the city. Their teachers, recruited from native-speaking countries, are among the most talented and energetic in the district.

    Foreign language students in the Kansas City Public Schools and elsewhere have consistently scored higher on reading, math and science achievement tests than students in a traditional curriculum.

    Nancy Rhodes, co-director of foreign language education at the Center for Applied Linguistics in Washington, D.C., would be the first to tell you that children attain second language proficiency more easily than older children or adults. At younger ages, she says, children are less constrained by ingrained rules of language and communication. Their brains are more open to alternative concepts and systems; their speech muscles less stiff and constricted. As a rule of thumb, linguists say, a native accent will never be developed after the onset of puberty. The message: If you want a child who is fluent in a second language, start early. David Villano, Smart Kid Magazine. (April 1996)

    The link below can provide very valuable information on immersion language learning:

    * 7 Tips For Raising Bilingual Children.