Very good Austin elementary school that teaches spanish to children (Andrews: appointed, middle schools)
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I don't see how you are 'parenting' your children in this regard? Or how your comment is even relevant? I do see you complaining about what a district doesn't offer for free though.
Contact the superintendent, provide your research and get it implemented, or figure out a way to expose your child to whatever you feel he or she may be lacking, on your own. It's not always up to the school.
.... and I don't just talk the talk. Something wasn't offered, to my standards, at my children's elementary - and I made sure to get it addressed and fixed. Now I am on a committee specifically for this need.
Maybe if you read the entire thread, you would see I wasn't complaining but rather asking about options. Don't assume that you're the only one capable of making changes... although you might be the only one with the financial ability to pay for private lessons.
My argument for an immersion program is that time doesn't need to be sacrificed from valuable academics. Math, reading and writing need to be the priorities. I would just suggest that it might be an alternative approach to the ESL problem, to turn an asset into a liability.
I do agree with you that parents want more things than schools can reasonably be expected to provide. That was a big factor behind our decision to homeschool. We did hire a tutor, as long as we could afford it, and I spent hours outside of class each week working with my kids. It is an enormous investment of time and effort.
I'm glad to hear RR is offering language classes for the teens. What I would REALLY love to see is some kind conversation practice groups for children. Maybe kind of like a sort of guided playgroup rather than an actual class? I.E. songs, listening to stories, playing games, etc. Foreign language doesn't really work unless the students have some opportunity to practice conversation. I have been thinking about trying to organize something once we get back to Texas.
Originally Posted by Jenbar
Hadn't been following this thread at all - and haven't read all the replies but...
RRISD offers a foreign language program for After-school education. Our particular school teaches Spanish, but other schools offer French too.
However, it's frustrating to me that so many parents look to the school to provide EVERYTHING.... YOU are the parent, and ultimately it is up to YOU to teach your child what you want your child to learn. The school provides the framework. There is a problem with "entitlement" when it comes to schools and education. If you want your child to learn Spanish, or whatever other language... and your school doesn't offer it, take some initiative and HIRE a personal instructor, learn it together, and use it in the home.
Austin is indeed lacking in language immersion options in public school. Aside from a few AISD schools that offer Spanish a few times a week (funded usually by the PTA at those schools--eg Casis Elementary in Tarrytown), languages don't start until middle school. Spicewood Elementary in RRISD does offer language (though not immersion) in K and up, because it is an IB school. Several private schools in town offer Spanish beginning in K or 1st (St. Andrew's, Trinity, to name a few).
The only true language immersion elementary school (there are some others for preschool) in town that I am aware of (and I have looked for them) is Austin International School (formerly Lycee Francais d'Austin). See their website at [URL="http://www.austininternationalschool.org"]Austin International School - Home[/URL]. It is part of the international French system of schools. Children are taught in French (around 60% of the time--though the exact amount varies by grade), Spanish (around 15% of the time) and English (around 25%) of the time. Substantive subjects (math, science, PE, art, social studies) are primarily taught in French and then reinforced in the other languages; reading, writing and speaking are taught in all three languages. The school is age 3 through 5th grade and hopes to expand to middle school in a few years. Students with no prior language experience are welcome to enter age age 3 through Kindergarten (space available, and the school is growing fast).
For 1st grade and up, entering students generally need some prior French experience to keep up (another French school, speaking it at home, etc--though exceptions are made on a case by case bases (eg a child fluent in Spanish & English might be able to catch up quickly in the lower grades)).
My daughter is in her 3rd year at the school (1st grade) and is reading and writing in all 3 languages (I speak passable Spanish, and my husband has high school French, but we speak English at home 100% of the time, so her ability to do this is solely from the school). Each language is taught exclusively by native speakers of that language and is taught immersion style, with English used in the French/Spanish classes only when absolutely necessary. In addition to the gift of language, children at the school get the gift of a truly global education--classmates are not just French or American, but truly come from all over the world and from numerous different ethnic and cultural backgrounds (Latino, French, Hispanic, Asian, Southeast Asian, Middle Eastern, etc). Teachers are similarly diverse--all French teachers are trained in the French system and are native French speakers, but are not necessarily from France, and Spanish teachers have come from many different countries including Mexico and several South American countries.
You may ask, why French, as I did too. I was looking for a Spanish Immersion school and could not find one in the Austin area. The benefit of the French schools is that there are I think over 30 around the US and many more around the world, in most major cities. Thus, should you choose to, or be forced to, relocate, your child is more likely to be able to continue with their language immersion studies. Because the French portion of the curriculum is standardized to a certain degree among these schools, moving between them is easy--even mid year--and the kids are easily able to pick up virtually where they left off at their prior school.
In Texas, there are similar schools in Dallas (Dallas International School) and Houston (Awty International School), though those have been around much longer.
I am a native Wichitan, currently living in Wichita, Ks. I have a child in elementary and one in middle school. I am not sure why you say that wichita schools force your children to learn spanish without your knowledge. It is not mandatory in my childs elementary school and my child in middle school chose spanish over french and I was a part of helping her pick her schedule. Wichita does not force children to learn the spanish language in the 259 district. If your child goes to private or a magnet school they may mix spanish into the learning or require a language but not the public usd 259 district. I guess I don't understand the problem anyway statistics show that hispanics are rapidly becoming the majority and soon it will be necessary to learn their language. Another small piece of food for thought...if you all don't like having the spanish language forced down your childs throat what makes you all think they like having the english language forced down theirs? The reality of the matter whether anyone likes it or not, is that we live in a melting pot and it is important for everyone to adapt, you can fight it or embrace it as a learning lesson. Besides that employers offer more money for spanish speaking employees now more than ever...what an incentive that is.
If it's the melting pot that you are saying then we should learn the language of everyone who moves here. If I moved to Mexico, I would not expect them to learn English to accommodate me and I would expect that people there would want to cram spanish down my throat, which is as it should be since I am in their country. I 100% disagree that it will soon be necessary to learn their language just because more hispanics are moving here. Sure, I agree with many people here who want their child to learn a 2nd or more language. I would like mine to learn one too, but not have it forced on her just because a lot of people from another country are moving here.
You really don't seem to get out much if the only people you know who speak Spanish are illegal immigrants.... One of the most interesting things to do is watch CNN in Spanish, or listen to Radio Quebec to hear different viewpoints. It's a shame that anyone has such a narrow minded, parochial view of the world. I'm thrilled that my kids here in Austin are in a school where Spanish (and Latin) are taught.
Mimimomx3, Where do your kids go to school that they learn Latin?? Regents? That is the only school that I have found that teaches Latin to kids... I am really shocked at these parents who are upset that a school would "force" a Foreign Language on their children. What kind of parent is upset that a school would dare to further educate their child beyond what is simply required.
Shame on you, dad, who "bawled out" the teacher who taught your child Spanish. If you caught your child communicating in Spanish, that teacher obviously did a good job and deserves to be commended, not "bawled out"! That poor teacher!
Backward, ignorant thinking like that is what holds back the schools here in the U.S. We are among the worst schools internationally and it is exactly this type of ignorant thinking that is holding us back. It is truly a shame.
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