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Old 06-06-2009, 08:16 AM
 
Location: somewhere
3,667 posts, read 5,310,237 times
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I noticed when I was looking at the different coporate houseing options in Arlington, the elementary that showed for one we were considering was Claremont Elem school which is a Spanish immersion program. Then yesterday when looking in Fairfax county I saw one house that listed an German immersion school. I understand the concept of the immersion program but not to sure if I want my child to do that. I do think Americans are very much behind other countries in the language department and I know the best way to learn another language is by immersion. Is anyone else's child in an immersion school, the pros and cons of a school like this. If this is not something that I would want for my child what are my other options. Oh and my kids will go to public if that makes any difference. I apologize in advance if I am coming across as stupid but we don't have immersion schools where I live now or where I was from, so other than understanding the concept behind it, I am not familiar with it at all.
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Old 06-06-2009, 08:23 AM
 
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My daughter attended a Spanish Immersion program in Prince William County (it was many years ago--she has now graduated from high school). It was interesting...it was also very difficult. The county, believe it or not, had a very hard time finding qualified Spanish speakers that could do a good job teaching. If I had to do it over again, I probably would not. She had several different teachers that came from several different Spanish-speaking countries. All had different accents/dialects and it was very difficult at times. It was hard for her in math doesn't come easy for her and she was also trying to learn it in Spanish. She did speak fairly well when she got out of 5th grade but then went on to a middle school that was very light on the languages so it was all for nothing almost.

I honestly don't see the point in doing immersion if the middle and high school levels aren't going to offer an equally rigorous program. In PWC, they sort of seemed to drop the ball in Middle School although you could find a certain middle school that was set up for the immersion kids and get yourself some transportation there.
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Old 06-06-2009, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC (formerly Vienna, VA)
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Even if your child attends an immersion school, in Fairfax County, at least, it doesn't mean he/she will be in the immersion program. Children from all over apply (it's done by lottery) to be in the immersion program. Those that get in go to an immersion school and are in the immersion program. Students who have that school as their base school aren't in the immersion program unless they apply and get in. The only exception, I think, is Kent Gardens Elementary which has a French program that the whole school participates in. I believe that is unique though. Not sure how the other counties work it.
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Old 06-06-2009, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Virginia
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I teach at the FCPS German Immersion school. Although I teach the English half of the students' day I have worked closely with immersion teachers for many years. I have sent you a DM.
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Old 06-06-2009, 03:17 PM
 
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Michgc is right, the immersion programs are within particular schools but that doesn't mean the entire school participates in the immersion program. (At least in Fairfax County.)
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Old 06-06-2009, 05:31 PM
 
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The whole school does not participate in the Kent Gardens program.
I have friends who sent children there, and moved them after a few years. Another family loved it, BUT both parents were from Europe and were fluent in French.
I have another friend whose daughter attended the Japanese immersion program at Great Falls. They were happy with the program, but extremely disappointed with the lack of serious follow-up in middle and high school.
My sense is that these programs work best for the highly motivated, academically gifted students who have at least one adult at home who speaks that language fluently. For everyone else, it's really hit or miss.
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Old 06-06-2009, 07:01 PM
 
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In Arlington it's two spanish immersion schools, Key and Claremont. In both cases the entire school participates.
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Old 06-06-2009, 08:49 PM
 
Location: somewhere
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpascal View Post
In Arlington it's two spanish immersion schools, Key and Claremont. In both cases the entire school participates.

If we end up coming on this detail and get corporate housing in Arlington will I have the option of putting my child in another school that isn't immersion? While both my husband and I can speak Spanish we are not by any means fluent in it so I would prefer my child not attend something like this. This is good to know since it will possibly change our corporate housing plans.
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Old 06-06-2009, 09:44 PM
 
1,230 posts, read 4,226,330 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajzjmsmom View Post
If we end up coming on this detail and get corporate housing in Arlington will I have the option of putting my child in another school that isn't immersion? While both my husband and I can speak Spanish we are not by any means fluent in it so I would prefer my child not attend something like this. This is good to know since it will possibly change our corporate housing plans.
You might want to call and ask. It is my understanding that English-speaking children are not admitted to Key Elementary after K unless they have been in another Spanish immersion program or have lived in a Spanish-speaking country. If this is true, then you might have a choice as to where to send your child(ren)--assuming they are entering a grade higher than K--even if your local school is an Arlington Spanish immersion elementary school.
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Old 06-06-2009, 09:56 PM
 
247 posts, read 439,518 times
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Yes, if you choose that you do not want an immersion school for your children you are not required to send them there.
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