Saturday, October 17, 2009

Like most of her classmates
Avery Gordon misses a fair amount of what her teacher says every morning

The Register Guard--
Like most of her classmates, River Road/El Camino del Rio Elementary School first-grader Avery Gordon misses a fair amount of what her teacher, Imelda Cortez, says every morning.

With the launch of River Road’s dual language immersion program this year, Cortez speaks solely in Spanish the first half of the school day — and Avery knew only a smattering of Spanish on the first day of school.

Just a month into it, though, it’s beginning to sink in. She’s even starting to think in Spanish now and then.

“Yesterday something funny happened — I forgot how to say ‘avocado’ in English!” Avery said, dissolving in giggles.

The program also has proven popular right out of the gate — though that’s not surprising, given Eugene’s proven appetite for language immersion. As of last week, there were 50 students on the waiting list, Principal Paco Furlan said. There were no slots left for native English speakers seeking to enroll from outside the new “super boundary” — the combined attendance area for River Road and Howard Elementary.

The district decided to blur the boundary lines so parents — including those moving into the area with older children who might struggle adapting to language immersion — would be able to choose between the two schools. (Howard offers “technology immersion,” having set the district’s gold standard for instructional technology; it’s also reporting strong kindergarten enrollment.)

River Road gave priority to native Spanish speakers, Furlan said, accepting some transfers from other regions. But still, the mix falls short of the 50/50 ideal.


I think that it is great if someone wants to learn a second language, and that language should be of their choice. however I also agree that if your first language is NOT english that it should be if you intend on living United States where the primary language is still like it or not English.

But there is a couple things that bother me about this program.

With the large number of Spanish speaking people coming here illegally every year, why are we are catering to make life easier for these people versus them making the effort to assimilate?

Greed! And in some areas of the United States, they don't have to.

But to be fair to the program above, it is also designed to teach English to Spanish speaking students, which I think is great and there should be more of those programs available to non-English-speaking students to help them function in this country.

I will agree with the theory that the earlier that a student learns a second language the easier it is in the future toward another language. However, I also believe you should know the language of the country that you intending to live in.

For example, If you're living in the United States and English is your first language, then it is up to you to learn a second language if you wish to.

If you're living in the United States and English is NOT your first language, then I suggest that it be your second or your third.

it was your (or parents)choice to move to another country, and therefore the burden of learning the language of that country should be on you, not the other way around.

And my dog in the fight...

when asked, "how are you being denied a job because you don't speak Spanish?" My response is one of the questions on the questionnaire I just recently filled out.

This is a delivery job driving a semi.

The question... "some of our customers do not speak English. Do you speak a second language? (yes, no)

Tell me that one is not an elimination question.

5 Comments:

Blogger doshimaitri said...

If you're a first-time language learner, you know that emotional ups and downs come with the territory. When you understand a concept or begin to comprehend the language, you may experience feelings of exhilaration. However, these are often followed by moments of frustration and discouragement, during which you might feel as if you will never master the concepts and attain the ability to understand and communicate effectively.Once the student can read in her native language, they can also learn to read in other foreign language schools because literacy automatically transfers to other languages.

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