How many of us have at one point in our lives thought about how great it would be to learn another language? It seems that for everyone one of us, having the means to extend our vocabulary not only provides a sense of personal achievement, but we also think about the implications it can have on other areas of our lives. If we spoke another language, perhaps it could help our jobs, open new ones, make us more interesting, give us something to do to confuse people who may be overhearing a conversation.
It has been shown through many studies that picking up languages is much easier at a younger age, and the easiest means of learning another language is through complete immersion into that vocabulary. This is the intention of local Ogden schools in offering full dual-language immersion for children in pre-school to Grade 6. To give them the means of being able to pick up another language in a normal feeling environment, while expanding on many aspects of life at the same time. Confidence, cognitive ability, social immersion, and ethnic study. By learning in two languages, living your school day as such, you gain momentum.
The program works by separating the children’s learning day into two parts, with the first half of the day being “regular’ English spoken and learning as is common through all schools in the country, the second half being a complete flip over to separating language, and being a Spanish only location, all classes, interactions and speech in general being in total Spanish. This allows kids to immerse themselves in the language, to interact with those learning the language as well, and to have the feeling that it’s either learn or don’t, which sounds worse when worded as such.
This program has been proving extremely popular among parents whose children are in these grades, knowing the benefits that come with learning a separate language, and the edge it gives you in today’s mixed society. With the knowledge that they have the means to full support in learning at their own pace, it puts parents at ease knowing that there isn’t a grading system being put into place on their levels of communication, only on their grades in the classes taught in those languages. It brings a different style of learning, and one that has thus far proven pretty successful.
The schools plan on adding more curriculum to the school day as they get more qualified teachers who are natural or at least fully bilingual speakers of the two chosen languages, and look forward to bringing things like advanced mathematics into the mix, bringing more complex understanding on the language than is normally taught in singular classes. We look forward to seeing the progression that not only the program makes, but for the children who have been a part of it for the last few years, and seeing where it can eventually get to, and how it affects lives over time.