What is a Language Immersion Program?
A language immersion program is one in which the children spend all or a large portion of their day learning, in a natural way, a particular foreign language. The immersion approach to teaching a second language maximizes the time the children get to practice the language they are learning. Children in a language immersion program work toward fluency in the foreign language; the method of teaching revolves around conversations.
Spanish Language Immersion at CLC
Toddler & Preschool Classrooms
At the Children’s Learning Centers (CLC) our language immersion methodology incorporates the CLC mission and the core values of early childhood education. We believe children develop at greater levels when activities include all learning domains; we know that children learn by doing, interacting, and expressing. We have four Spanish Language Immersion classrooms; two toddler and two preschool.
As early childhood educators:
- We support the building of a community of inclusion. We know that the young child’s developmental needs are paramount; we want the language immersion process to be fun and to complement the young child’s development.
- We seek to utilize the unique window of opportunity for learning languages that young children possess by exposing the young child to the rhythm, sounds, and culture of another language.
- We strive to foster an appreciation for a multilingual and multicultural nation by making natural connections through literature, actions, relationships, inquiries, opportunities, and repetition.
At CLC some of the children in the Program are new to the foreign language, while others come from households where family members are bilingual or even multilingual; however, all young children are still in the process of acquiring language skills. Our Program is designed to help the child easily transition into the language of the classroom by participating naturally in the language. They can use, practice and rehearse the foreign language in an emotionally supportive environment that stimulates all their senses.
For parents of a young child learning a new language:
- Continue to give consistent exposure to and support for your “home language” with your child: the stronger the development of the native language, the greater the proficiency in the immersion language.
- The key principle of immersion education is to add knowledge about a new language and culture while building upon the native language: take advantage of cultural events, cuisine, and the arts both locally and in your travels.
- Always keep in mind your child’s individual personality, learning style, and temperament: each child will embrace the new language at their own pace.