By Alice Chen
Once you’ve piqued the interest of a few parents, teachers, and the principal, invite a language teacher to give a demo at your next parents’ night or PTO meeting. Marcia Rosenbusch, an adjunct associate professor at Iowa State University who specializes in K-8 world language instruction, suggests getting someone engaging and skilled in the latest instruction techniques, such as no-English lessons that use gestures and objects to clarify meaning.
It’s tempting to get people excited about learning Spanish, for example, but it’s crucial to hold off on choosing which language to offer. That’s a decision best suited to the latter stages of the process, according to the classic textbook Languages and Children: Making the Match: New Languages for Young Learners, Grades K-8. Language choice can be divisive. It's best to go with the language you can find the most qualified teacher for, advises Professor Mary Lynn Redmond, chair of Wake Forest University's education department. Instead, gather a diverse committee of parents, teachers, administrators, and the principal together to form your language team. As a group, do some legwork and visit different types of language programs. Ask questions like: "Are students happy? Are teachers engaged? Does the class move along at a good pace? What do we want to recreate?"
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