Repost for our new DLP families!
Well, the school year has started and kids, teachers and families are
beginning to fall into the rhythm of the schedule. For many families,
the first few weeks are filled with excitement, anxiety, hope and fear.
It's especially challenging for families that are entering a dual
language program for the first time. Some children are following right
into the routine and others are having a harder time. That's why we've
compiled some words of wisdom from families that have experienced the
transition into language immersion firsthand. If you have questions
and/or concerns or just want to speak with someone who has gone through a
dual language program, be sure to comment or send us an email at
"This one is from Grandma. I
had three children in Spanish Immersion and it was 100% in kinder and
1st grade. Granted that every child is different, I think that you need
to take a deep breath and relax a little. This is the first week. Of
course, your child might come home and say that he/she did not
understand everything but give them a week or two and the picture
should be different. Try not to show your anxiety about this because
your child will pick up on it. Remember that yesterday and for the next
few weeks there will be hundreds of children entering their first
time in a language immersion class. Children are like sponges and they
do pick up very quickly. Some of this difficulty maybe just adjusting
to school in general. Be supportive and positive with your child and
listen to them. If you feel like the problem persists speak with the
teacher. Check to see that your child is eating well and sleeping well
Other signs of difficulty maybe crying alot or being belligerent.
Change in those behaviors can indicate that there is some undue stress
and needs to be addressed further. A lot of times, it may be the
parent that is having the more difficult time. Hope this helps."
Written by Madeline Ehrlich
"Try, as best as you can,
not to show any anxiety to your kids. Tell them how special they are
to be learning another language with their fellow classmates. Kids
look to their parents for understanding and if they see how excited
you are, they'll follow your lead.
Part of the anxiety comes from not knowing. This can be an incredible life lesson for kids and adults, too! There will always
be times of non-knowing something and the more that we can teach them
that this is a natural part of learning, the more they accept it and
the better learners they can become. Relaxed kids = better learners!
of my favorite stories about a kid's first week in a Spanish Dual
Language class is from the principal of our school. A young boy kept
coming home and saying "I think I'm in the wrong class, they speak
Spanish in my class". The mother kept reassuring him that he was in the
right class. Eventually, he stopped saying he was in the wrong
class. This boy was our principal's son!
"You're giving your child an incredible gift!"
Written by Jenny Manriquez, Mother of 5th Grade, Spanish Immersion Student
an English speaking parent of a son who has spent the last five years
in a Dual Immersion Program, I am thrilled with his speaking, reading,
and writing skills in both Spanish and English. As all of his homework
has been in Spanish over the years, the program gave me a chance to
learn Spanish along side of him and opened up a world of resources in
order to help him thrive. No matter your fears or hesitations, you can
do this Your child(ren) will appreciate the gift." written by Michelle
Ramos, Castroville Elementary DLP & Boronda Meadows DLP parent
"Congratulations on your Spanish Dual Language Program!
have three kids, just about to go into 2nd, 4th and 6th grades. We are
an English-only household. Well, my husband and I only speak English!
My kids have been in language immersion since Kindergarten. They LOVE
Spanish. And their state testing in English is through the roof. From
my experience, my kids didn't notice they were in Spanish immersion.
They thought that all schools taught only in Spanish, lol.
reassure your parents that the anxiety their kids feel might be
mirrored anxiety from the parents themselves. Plus, the kindergartners
and first graders might be feeling the same anxiety that many kids feel
going to school for the first time, or back to school after a long
summer - regardless of whether they're in dual language, immersion, or
any other school for that matter.
My husband and I both
agree that giving our kids the gift of a second language is one of the
best things we've done for them. Take care and stay with it! Oh, and
don't forget to take a deep breath. You deserve it!" written by
Jeannine Wisnosky Stehlin