The Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA): Articulation of Language Instruction

The ACIE Newsletter, February 2004, Vol. 7, No. 2

by Annie Heideman, 9th grade Spanish Immersion student, Highland Park Sr. High School, St. Paul , MN

I went to Adams Spanish Immersion School because my parents wanted me to learn Spanish even though they do not speak it. Being a Spanish immersion student has had a very large impact on my life. In fact, it is my life. I will have, I will have, I will have. It will have a great impact on what my future will be. There are many different advantages and disadvantages to going to Spanish immersion school, along with many memories that I will always carry with me.

I only have a few memories of actually learning Spanish because we were so immersed it just seemed to come naturally. When I first started going to Adams in kindergarten my teacher would read little story books to us in Spanish. We had to figure out what she was reading about paying very close attention to the pictures. We would sing in Spanish every day. I would like to know if you are interested in learning Spanish, but I would like to know more about you.

first grade. We spent hours and hours to create our own sentences in Spanish with a list of vocabulary words that our teacher would give us. Everyone, I absolutely loved this one, but I believe that it was one of the truly valuable activities where I learned the most Spanish at one time. In the upper elementary grades, I had some really talented teachers. We would like to thank you for your help.

I have experienced both academic and social advantages from being an immersion student. One example of an advantage that relates to schoolwork is that I have much better language learning skills than non-immersion students. In my French and German classes, I have noticed that learning to third language comes much easier to me and the other immersion students. For example, I am able to make connections between Spanish, French and German, which makes grammar, pronunciation and word much easier for me to remember. It seems that my brain is much more familiar with the process of learning a language and can adapt to a new one easily after already learning Spanish and English.

The greatest social advantage of having attended an immersion school is that, unlike kids from other elementary schools, once you leave Adams and go on to junior high and senior high school, most of your classmates remain together and continue on in the immersion program. Many of us have been close friends. The major reason is that we have a second language in common and this gives us the opportunity to continue to take classes together in Spanish while kids from other schools are simply randomly split up. With all these classes in common we are forced to be together for thirteen years whether we like it or not! Our common languages ​​give us a special bond.

The Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA): Articulation of Language Instruction

Apart from making lifelong friends, there are other ways in which going to an immersion school will affect my entire life. I plan on traveling abroad and going to school in a Spanish-speaking country as part of an exchange program. I believe that being able to fluently speak more than one language will also broaden the career possibilities available to me in the future.

I attended Spanish classes at Adams School in the immersion program because my parents wanted me to learn Spanish even though they do not speak it. Being a student immersion has had a great impact on my life. In fact, it's my life. He has determined who my friends are, how I learn and the classes I take, as well as the kinds of jobs I can do in my life. All of this will have a great influence on my future. Attending an immersion program has had its advantages and disadvantages, along with many memories and anecdotes that always keep in my mind.

I only have a slight memory of the process of learning Spanish because as we were so immersed within this language, the process was completely natural. At first when we started going to Adams in kindergarten the teacher read short books to the whole class, all in Spanish. The only way we could understand what we were reading was by paying close attention to the drawings. We all sang in Spanish daily. On every occasion that the teacher wanted the students to do something like stand in line or return from recess she sang songs, songs that I still have in my mind and I can easily remember.Likewise, just as being a student immersion brought many positive things into my life, there have also been some disadvantages, as I mentioned earlier. One of them is that many of the students can not spell English very well. This varies a lot among students, but I feel we did not learn to spell in English as much as the other kids our age, who went to a regular elementary school. The reason for this is that we were learning two languages ​​at the same time, we needed to divide our time between learning English and Spanish. However at this point, I think there are many more advantages than disadvantages.

As a student immersion I have lived both academic and social advantages. An example of an advantage is that immersion students are more likely to develop and acquire language than students who do not study in immersion schools. In my French and German classes I have noticed the ease of learning a third language not only for myself but for other immersion students. For example, I am able to make connections between Spanish, French and German, which makes grammar, pronunciation and the concept of words much easier to remember for me. It seems to me that my brain is familiar with the process of learning a new language, so it is easier to learn a new language after learning English and Spanish.

Aside from having the opportunity to make friends that I will have for most of my life, there are other ways in which being a student immersion will affect my whole life. I plan to travel to Spanish speaking countries in a few years and study there, maybe a career as part of an exchange program. I believe that being able to speak fluently more than one language will increase my chances of finding work in the future.

There are many different reasons why I recommend sending your children to immersion schools. I think it's one of the best gifts they can give them. This is something my parents have given me and it has affected my life in an impressive way. It is something unique that you can give to your children that stays with them for all their life.

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