About two dozen first graders at Foothill Elementary easily rattled off the days of the week for their instructor. Not a difficult assignment for a group that age – unless they are doing the recitation in Chinese – and that’s just what members of the Box Elder School Board heard Wednesday night during their meeting held at Box Elder Middle School.
First graders from Foothill Elementary School shared their knowledge of the Chinese language via video clips, while first graders from Lake View Elementary first graders did the same in Spanish. Both are Brigham City schools.
MaryKay Kirkland, director of curriculum, offered the videos of the Dual Immersion language program being implemented in the district as a way to show how students are progressing. The program is now in its second year and gives the students instruction in language arts and math, both in English and in a secondary language. Kirkland said these students should have the opportunity to continue in that additional language throughout their educational career, and more areas of the curriculum will likely be added over time,
Although she did not have complete data on how well the students are doing in the program, she did say it seems to help them have a better understanding of their own language as they study in both.
Kathy Williams, first grade teacher at Lake View, said she has not seen any kind of “dip” in student learning, even though they transfer from one language to the other, and students seem to adjust, and even enjoy, the change in routine.
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