Local School District looks at World Language Immersion Program

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Updated: 11/27/2012 10:44 pm

        Educators frequently look for new ways to improve their schools; one local school district sent a few teachers and administrators as far as 9,000 miles away to observe other education systems.

Teachers and administrators from school district 251 in Rigby went to China to see how their school system works there; they’re back now and ready to implement some new ideas.

“I would like to see us offer a world language immersion program starting in Kindergarten and First Grade and for me it doesn’t really matter which language, the world languages that are considered most important right now besides English are Spanish and Chinese and so I think if we offered either or both of those languages it would really benefit our children here in this area” said Jefferson Elementary School Principal Michele Southwick.

Other states that offer world language immersion programs have found students who learn more than one language at a young age perform better on standardized testing.

“If they have native speaking teachers teach them Chinese or Spanish or Portuguese or French the children that learn it at an early age don’t even have an accent, and so then they not only sound like a native speaker but their ability to learn other languages is increased also” continued Southwick.

The school board has approved for Jefferson Elementary School to start a world language immersion program next school year if they have enough parent support.

Administrators have already met with some parents in the area and a majority of them are in favor of the idea.

The world language immersion program will need at least 60 students to be enrolled before it can take off.

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