Monday, August 25, 2014

Bienvenidos to all our new Lincoln Families!

 (I've updated and am re-posting an article from last year, as I hope it will be helpful for our new families).

¡Bienvenidos to all of the new families in the Lincoln Elementary Dual Language Program!  It's hard to believe that we are beginning the fourth year of the popular dual language program at Lincoln.  It's just as hard to believe that three years ago, we had roughly 60 children in the inaugural two classes and we now have close to 300 children in the Tk-4th grade dlp classes and over 60 students in the Spanish preschool.  It is truly amazing and a testament to the community demand for dual language education.

As I watch all the new families enter the school, I can't help but feel excited for them and scared at the same time.  It conjured up memories of the first week of our dual language education journey with our oldest daughter Alec.  My husband and I felt as if we were taking a HUGE leap of faith, but we knew in our hearts it was the best opportunity for our daughter.  So, when I came a across an article posted on Spanglishbaby.com entitled Tips For Non-Native Speakers with Children at Dual Language Schools, I realized that I have a few tips that I think are worth sharing.  I hope these are helpful for all our newbie dual immersion parents.

1)  Be confident in your decision to enroll in a dual immersion.  As most parents know, children are very intuitive and they pick up on almost everything.  If your child senses your apprehension, it's more likely that he/she will become apprehensive.  I'm not saying you can't or shouldn't have questions, concerns or doubts; however, I would bet that you all have done your homework and your research on dual immersion programs.  You chose this program for a reason, believe and trust in your choice and give it a fair shot. As our veteran Kinder teachers can attest to, most students that are resistant at the beginning of the school year tend to overcome their resistance by mid year, if not sooner.  So hang in there!  If you'd like to see what other parents from other dual language programs have to say about their child's kinder transitions, click here http://miparentscouncil.org/2012/08/31/parents-advice-on-transitioning-to-kindergarten/.  There is also some great advice in this article posted on Spanglishbaby.com http://spanglishbaby.com/2012/12/why-it-takes-a-leap-of-faith-to-enroll-your-child-in-a-dual-language-immersion-program/.

2) Don't feel like you have to become fluent in Spanish to help your child with their homework or language acquisition.  There's no question that being bilingual parent is a major asset for a child in a dual immersion program; however, the beauty of the program is that is designed for native speakers of both languages.  Our teachers are so wonderful and helpful.  They truly want our children to succeed and will guide you through whatever assistance you need in regards to homework.  That's not to say that it's easy- it is a major commitment.  But in the end, isn't it worth it to have a child that is bilingual, bi-cultural and bi-literate?  And, if you are a person who loves learning, this may be a great opportunity for you to brush up on your high school Spanish or learn a few phrases along side your child.  But don't be discouraged when your child speaks Spanish without an English accent and you sound like a total Gringo:)

3) Lean on other families in the program.  Over the past four years, we have developed a very supportive and caring community of dual language families.  Don't be afraid to reach out to other families in your child's classroom or some of the families in the older grades.  I'm confident that there are a lot of families that have experienced what you are going through right now.  So, don't be shy.  We are here to support one another.  The Dual Language Program Advocates and here to support you, as well.  Send us an email, ask us a questions or share your ideas/concerns.  We'd love to hear from you dlpadvocates@gmail.com.  If we can't answer your question, we can certainly help you find someone who can.

4) Try not to freak out if your child says they don't want to learn Spanish.  I have heard so many great stories about English speaking children in dual immersion programs and the funniest things they say.  Some children adapt quickly to the non English environment and others take more time to warm up to the concept.  If your child is resisting,  it's important to realize that resistance is very normal and with support and encouragement your child will adjust.  It takes time, patience, courage, strength, and will power to not give in to the child that vehemently resists.  But with the right encouragement and support at home and at school every child should succeed in the dual immersion setting.

5) Do your homework.  As I mentioned previously, I am confident that almost every parent that chooses a dual immersion program does their research.  Now that your child is actually in a program it's important for you to delve even deeper into the most common and successful practices of a dual immersion program.  It's imperative that you FULLY understand the 90-10 model and that you become the biggest advocate for your child's education.  As you may know, our school holds dual immersion parent meetings 4-6 times a school year and one dual immersion conference.  I highly encourage all of you to attend as many meetings as possible and stay well informed.  As great as our program is, it is still very new.  Our teachers are doing incredible work, but there are a lot of wonderful dual immersion practices that we have yet to implement at our school.  The more we know the more powerful our voices are. 

There are so many more tips that you can find online or ask any parent of a 4th grader in the program.  On behalf of the Dual Language Program Advocates, I wish each and every one of you a fabulous first year and Bienvenidos a Lincoln!

Maria Giannini

Thursday, July 31, 2014

2014-2015 Back to School Night on Thursday, August 7th

Hi to all our DLP families!  We hope you have been enjoying your summer.  We just wanted to let you know that Back to School Night is Thursday, August 7th at 6:00PM at Lincoln.  We hope to see you there.  As we're sure you know, school starts Monday, August 11th and we'll have minimum days all week.

Be sure to say hi to all the new teachers.  There are four new teachers joining the DLP team and all seven from last year will be back at it again.  There is 1 Transitional Kinder class, 3 kinder classes, 2 first grade classes, a 1st/2nd grade class, one 2nd grade class, one 2nd/3rd grade class, one 3rd grade class, and one 4th grade class. 

Stay tuned for news about upcoming meetings, dual immersion events and cool information throughout the year.

Happy Back to School!




Wednesday, March 26, 2014

New Dual Immersion Transitional Kinder Announced

WOW!!! We are so thrilled to announce that SCESD has decided to start a new dual immersion transitional kinder class at Lincoln for the 2014-2015 school year.  This is huge news.  Lincoln will now have a complete dual immersion program starting from preschool (3 1/2 years old) all the way through to 6th grade!  We are the only program in Monterey County that will provide this comprehensive program.

For more information about the state wide transitional kinder program, you can visit http://www.tkcalifornia.org.

Be sure to spread the word to all your friends and family about this new opportunity.

YAY!!!!! Thank you SCESD!!!!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Information Meeting for incoming Kinder Parents

Parents that are interested in learning more about the dual language program at Lincoln should plan on attending the March 4th meeting in the Lincoln Cafeteria from 6pm-7pm.  This meeting is geared towards parents of incoming kindergarteners for 2014-2015 that have NOT registered for the DLP at Lincoln, but would like to learn more about how the program works. 

Please help us spread the word about this meeting.