Our program is designed to support both Spanish-speakers and non-Spanish speakers and Spanish-speaking and non-Spanish speaking families. We use translanguaging, pioneered by Ofelia Garcia, to introduce Spanish to non-Spanish speakers and support and strengthen Spanish-speakers language skills.
Many families ask about what to expect from a language-immersion experience. Below is what you can expect from three days per week of immersion (via www.multilingualchildren.org):
- FIRST MONTH: Everything is new, and the child will resist the change vehemently. Typically, after the initial crying bouts, he may be quieter and more reserved than his normal self at school and may resist playing with the other kids. Remember that this sort of behavior is extremely common even if there isn’t a new language involved — it is a normal toddler reaction to any large change!
- SECOND MONTH: The child begins to adjust to the new situation. He opens up and plays more with the other kids and begins to learn the basic words (yes, no, food items, etc.) He begins to like and gain trust in the teachers.
- THIRD MONTH AND BEYOND: The child becomes comfortable with the situation and starts to enjoy himself, really accelerating his language learning. He has made a few friends and looks forward to seeing them. (Remember, happy kids learn the fastest.) At this stage, he’ll increase his vocabulary much faster and start to combine words into simple sentences, maybe even picking up some basic grammar. If you can keep up this kind of language interaction, you’re really off to the races.
After about one semester, he will be comfortable using the minority language and will be quickly catching up to his peers — well on his way to speaking a foreign language, just by playing and having fun!
For more information on raising a multilingual child: http://multiculturalkidblogs.com
For Spanish language acquisition: http://www.spanishplayground.net