"Just out of curiosity, if China is projected to be the #1 English speaking
country in the world within 10-15 years, then why are we so concerned with
learning their language for advancing our own interest. There must be a
short list of emerging economies that will have a greater need for
American influence/opportunities. America is in dire need to be ahead of
"I desire my children bilingual in Spanish/English and decided at Kinder to
enroll at a Spanish immersion elementary school. My eldest child, after
attending her second year is confusing both languages and below grade
level, which I think has caused a delay in understanding core subjects.
The immersion program teaches core academics in both Spanish and English.
Now, I'm considering the program is not best for her learning style. I
request her school to perform a student study to identify any learning
challenges to help me decide if this is the best program. Please assist,
I'm looking for advice.
"This is to bring to your attention some new ways to keep kids interested
in Learning Mandarin Chinese.
We started s Chinese dubbed movies program since last Summer, partly to
help kids kill time during the long summer. What really happened was very
dramatic. The kids just loved these movies.
Not many people know the existence of Chinese dubbed movies, the very
movies we have been watching since our childhood. Well, many Disney
movies have been dubbed into Chinese for the China market. These movies
in turn become tools for kids to learn Mandarin Chinese. The following
movies are available at http://www.ChineseDubbed.com. All most all of
them have Mandarin Chinese (dubbed) / English (original) sound tracks, AND
English / Chinese subtitles. It's important to have English subtitles.
That way, kids will not get lost in translation!
Since last summer (52 weeks away), our kids have built a 50 some Chinese
dubbed movies collection.
Try them, and you will be surprised that kids are encouraged by their
success. You need to have some measured progress to keep the kids
interested any time.
"Love your post! Yes yes yes!!! Start them young! You offer up great
ideas and tips here. Here are few more ideas that worked for us? (our
sons speak pretty good Spanish at ages 7&9)
-Offer choices to encourage kids to speak (this also provides the word to
repeat) -Meet them in their interest area. Legos? Puzzles? Soccer? Do
it in the target language -Incorporate it into daily activities. Start
replacing a few well-worn expressions. Like hurry up. Or I love you. Or
Whatever you do, make it fun!
"Mandarin Chinese could be a great choice for your 9 year old daughter.
Spoken by 1.5 billion population, this language is getting even more
important in this global economy. Just a thought!"
"You can train brains to process more contents when learning a foreign
language, just as multi-tasking in computer terms. Take example of
watching Chinese dubbed movies. Kids learning Chinese can have fun
watching their favorite Disney movies, e.g., Beauty and the Beast, Peter
Pan, that they are already familiar with, however, dubbed in Mandarin
Chinese. While listening to Chinese conversations, they can read English
subtitles, thus without getting lost. Yes, twice as much information are
processed, and most importantly, kids understand what's going on. Very
"What would be a good second language choice for my 9 year old gifted
"That's true. I am starting my second year teaching English to spaniard
preschoolers in an italian school. I am so fascinated about how languages
changes their attitudes and their understanding of the world and the way
how express themselves in many other ways."
"My 4th grader has been attending a dual-immersion school since 1st grade.
He is fluent in Spanish and is reading at a 6th grade level in English.
He consistently performs way above average on all the standardized tests
he takes. The amazing part about his school is the fact that half the
kids come from Spanish dominant families. So, he is not only learning
Spanish, but is learning to appreciate other cultures. He has a maturity
and appreciation for diversity that you don't see with most 9-year olds!
We definitely need to rethink our education system in the U.S."
"Even Better-Bring Spanish to your child's school! Futura Language
Professionals offers before and after school Spanish enrichment classes.
Fun theme-based or conversational classes are available. All classes use
songs, games and cultural activities your children are sure to love. Check
out Futura! www.futuraadventures.com (Preschool, elementary and middle
school classes available)"
"I purchased Muzzy for my daughter and tried to get her interested in the
poor quality and boring material that came with it. I gave it to goodwill
and am searching for something that will actually work"
"My child is fluent in 3 languages, since they are spoken at home, since
the age of 2. It has never been any problems with mixing them up. I'm so
happy for my child to have had this opportunity given. "
"How do you explain why Hispanic kids do so poorly in school? They all
speak fluent English and Spanish. According to that article they should
score above averge in all subjects statistically speaking as they brain
develop extra gray matter. By the way my kid is bi-lingual and very smart,
but I do not attribute it to two languages. She was very smart from the
get go when she know only one language. (Not English) Did everything early
(walk, talk, etc.) I think it is bunch of boloney spread by Educational
Industrial Complex that wants to make more and more money teaching."
"I originally moved my daughter from private school to a public school with
a foreign language immersion program hoping that the added challenge of a
foreign language would help with her behavioral problems(she is a fast
learner and becomes a behavioral problem after she has learned and the
other kids haven't caught on yet). I'm now a big supporter of these types
of programs for the cognitive aspects. I've noticed improvements in other
areas besides just language since she has started learning a second
language (BTW, it's French in case you were wondering). "
"Another fun way to 'practice' training a child's ear is to let them watch
their favorite DVD with the language set to a different language (many
popular DVDs come with a French and/or Spanish option on the disc)."
"Brava! Introduce them to Neruda's poetry, to Pagnol's prose and great
music by Mecano or Mana and they will be wounded for life. Why do so many
Americans eat out at Indian, Chinese, and Mexican restaurants and never
make the mono-lingual connection.. Even the Marine Corps teaches you a
little latin.. Keep those kids struggling witih a modern langauge!"
"Learning a foreign language at a young age is great, but CDs, videos, toys
and games don't work, not for small children anyway. Children needs live
interaction in the target language for a sustained periods of time.
After-school foreign languages classes are time-consuming and expensive,
nannies are even more expensive. Why can't our local public elementary
schools offer more foreign language classes like other developed (even
"Berkeley USD has a program called two-way immersion that combines native
Spanish speakers and native English speakers in one class beginning in
kindergarten and continuing through to the 8th grade. The students start
out with instruction taught at a ratio of 75%:25% Spanish to English in
kindergarten. That ratio gradually changes each year until it is even
almost even at 6th grade and then reverses until by the 8th grade,
instruction is taught at a ratio of 25%:75% Spanish to English.
Recent studies have shown that while students may not perform well on
standardized test in the early grades, by the 6th grade, the student catch
up with the median, and by high school, the students surpass the median on
an upward curve. That's BOTH native Spanish and native English speaking
So this study demonstrating the benefits of early secondary language
instruction is not surprising to the parents of students who came through
the two-way immersion program.
It's too bad this kind of program is not reflecting in the ratings. If
they were, a school like Rosa Parks Elementary would probably be close to
"No doubt learning a foreign language at a young age is great, but videos,
CD, toys, games just don't work, not for young kids anyway. Kids need
real people interacting with them in the target language for a sustained
amount of time. Unfortunately, hauling kids to language classes is time
consuming and expensive, hiring a bilingual nanny is even more expensive.
Public schools need to offer more foreign languages classes in elementary