I hope that when my son reaches school age we will be living in an area where
these kinds of programs are available. Learning a foreign language is nothing
but a positive. I especially like that these students learn about technical
subject in a foreign language; it is in those specialized areas that learning a
language can be most difficult. I am surprised that they mentioned
that a school decided against offering a Spanish-based science class because of
the technical language involved. Most biological and chemical terminology
translates very directly and very easily between Spanish and English because
both languages draw such vocabulary from Latin.
Students in Utah needs to be comfortable and capable of speaking ENGLISH, first
and foremost. Learning English must be the first priority always. A limited
dual immersion program, can help transition a non-English speaking student until
he or she is comfortable with the English language while still in Elementary
school. Attempting to teach all the science, language arts, math, etc in in
Secondary Schools environment, in different foreign languages, is impossible.
As an child immigrant I should know, I speak three languages fluently; English
first is the way to communicate, adapt and become adept in America.
Language ability is so important when we are so social in our families and
friendships.We should be happy to have these programs in schools and
to show the positive results of increasing our ability to grow in proper
language usage. I was fortunate to have taken 3 years of Spanish in Junior High
School and 2 years of Latin in High School. Those languages have increased my
understanding of words, uses, and communicating with people in all languages and
cultures. I have been fortunate to have lived in places such as Nicaragua,
Honduras, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Germany, the Philippines and travelling in many
other places such as Peru, Vietnam, Korea, China, Taiwan, Japan, Oman, the South
Pacific, Australia, Thailand, Singapore, Colombia, and Panama. I spent 10 years
working with professionals from India, Russian, South Africa, Ivory Coast,
Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico, Canada, Korea, Uganda, Algeria, Argentina, Lithuania,
Bangladesh, Belarus, Netherlands, Nepal, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Chile, Croatia,
Czech Republic, Romania, Poland, Pakistan, Norway, Sweden, Finland, France,
Germany, Slovenia, Tunisia, Spain, Japan, Zimbabwe, and Turkey.What
a blessing to know those people. They learned English and loved meeting people
in Utah and feeling the spirit, music and words of Temple Square.
These programs are twenty five years behind where they should have been thanks
to the opposition of some school district administrators who thought that they
were too much work to administer. Thanks to the good administrators who put
the children's education first and fought for these programs.