Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Case for Spanish

There has been a lot of discussion as to 'why' the Salinas City Elementary School District has not chosen a more critically needed language, such as Mandarin for their  dual language immersion programs. The answer is simple: there aren't enough elementary aged, fluent Mandarin speakers in the Salinas community to qualify for a dual language program. However, a one-way Mandarin immersion program could be possible. (click here to read about the differences between dual, or two-way, immersion programs and one-way immersion programs). Perhaps this will happen in the future, if enough parents express interest in such a program and there is a suitable school site to house the program.  Something to think about....

The case for why SCESD has chosen Spanish as the target language for their three dual language programs is just as easily explained. To begin, Salinas is home to an abundance of native Spanish speakers. By learning Spanish, English speaking children will gain a better cultural understanding of the Spanish speaking community. In addition, Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world and according to it is likely to remain firmly in the No. 2 spot for years to come. And, probably the most compelling reason, Spanish improves the understanding of English (for native English speakers). Much of the vocabulary of English has Latin origins. Since Spanish is also a Latin language, learning Spanish will allow the English speaker a better understanding of their native vocabulary. Similarly, both Spanish and English share Indo-European roots, so their grammars are similar. There is perhaps no more effective way to learn English grammar than by studying the grammar of another language.

The good news for Spanish/English dual language program parents who want their children to acquire a "critical needs language" is that science indicates that bilingual/multilingual people acquire additional languages more easily than their monolingual peers.  Hence, students that go through a dual language program are more likely to easily acquire a third language. (click this link for specific research details).

Regardless of which language is your preference, the bottom line is that learning a second language enriches one's life intellectually, culturally, economically, socially, and so on...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lincoln Elementary DLP gets a third class for 2011-2012

In addition to one first grade dual language and one kinder dual language class for 2011-2012, Lincoln Elementary School is now hiring a third teacher for a dual language kinder/1st combo class.

Go to for more info.

Congratulations to Lincoln and to Salinas City Elementary School District!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Rhodel Island to launch revolutionary trilingual immersion curriculum for preschoolers

According to a press release posted on, Rhode Island's Federal Hill House Association (FHHA), a non profit human service agency, will begin a revolutionary trilingual immersion curriculum for their preschool/daycare and early school age programs this fall. Children in their programs will learn English, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. DLPA will follow the progress of their programs and report back here on what we learn. We hope this will inspire Californians to start similar multilingual programs.

Click here to read the entire press release...