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RE: [howardpubliced] Re: School board might add Mandarin to elementary curriculum

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  • cynthia vaillancourt
    Leslie-May I tap into your expertise here? 1) The research looks like it doesn t matter which language a child is exposed to - as long as they are learning a
    Message 1 of 47 , Jun 4, 2011
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      Leslie-
      May I tap into your expertise here? 

      1) The research looks like it doesn't matter which language a child is exposed to - as long as they are learning a second language it keeps the language acquisition ability open.  Is this true?

      2) Since in elementary school we are only touching the surface (over and over) what if we gave all the children one semester of Spanish and one semester of Chinese every year?  Over the 6 years of elementary school they would have essentially completed about half of Chinese 1 and Spanish 1 - which is about all we would be able to get to them whether we did one language or two.  Thoughts?

      CIndy V



      To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
      From: leslie@...
      Date: Sat, 4 Jun 2011 22:38:29 +0000
      Subject: [howardpubliced] Re: School board might add Mandarin to elementary curriculum

       
      I was on the Elementary World Language committee, and I advocated strongly for Spanish to be one of the languages introduced in elementary school. I agree that Chinese is a language our children should learn given the growing number of people in the world whose native language is Chinese. But I do not agree with the argument that "it's too hard to offer our students a choice" as a reason for offering only one language.

      As a Spanish teacher, I understand the argument that a middle schooler can start Spanish in 7th grade and, if he/she continues through Spanish 5 in high school can theoretically come out "fluent" in Spanish by graduation. But not all our students take Spanish in middle school, and those who start it in high school have little to no chance of attaining any real fluency by graduation. A small handful of the students who start Spanish 1 in middle or high school follow it all the way through to Spanish 5 -- because by the time we introduce Spanish, middle schoolers have already grown out of their natural ability to acquire a second language. We must start earlier -- and I believe Spanish is as important a language for students to learn as Chinese. There should be a way we can offer both.

      Leslie Kornreich

      --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, cynthia vaillancourt <CynthiaVaillancourt@...> wrote:
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      > Just FYI,We have asked the staff to develop information to potentially offer a choice between Mandarin and Spanish at each elementary school. Initial estimates for the pilot indicated approximately $50k additional cost to offer a choice. Of course the logistics of a choice might prove overwhelming, but "where there's a will there's a way".If you believe offering a choice to elementary children would be worthwhile enough to justify additional expense then please make sure to have your voices heard. Contact the Board of Education members of your choice, and the Superintendent's office. Cindy Vaillancourt
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      > To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
      > From: pamythompson@...
      > Date: Sat, 4 Jun 2011 17:07:22 +0000
      > Subject: [howardpubliced] Re: School board might add Mandarin to elementary curriculum
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      > To set the bar at "no additional cost" we can put both Spanish and Sign in every elementary by fall can be accomplished. At "no cost" falls into the category of too good to be true however we need to build programs with such goals in mind, completely rethink what we are doing.
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      > Jack
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      > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, "Debra" <debra4@> wrote:
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      > > Jack,
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      > > I hope you meant "no additional cost" rather than "no cost." We can't expect to guarantee that volunteers would come to schools everyday at each elementary school in the county to teach another language.
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      > > Thanks,
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      > > Debra
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      > > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, "pamythompson" <pamythompson@> wrote:
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      > > > I have always leaned towards Spanish, the number of recent immigrants who speak Spanish is so large we will never be able to absorb them into the country without significant change. Recently I have been educated to the many positive points for the study of Sign. Any langauge needs to begin earlier in elementary. The way we currently teach a second language begining in middle school completely misses the mark. The problem with Mandarin is it is a tonal language.You would have far better results teaching more music in elementary then Mandarin. Again I believe we could with the help of the community have both Spanish and Sign in all our elementary schools this fall at no cost. I believe Mandarin will never reach the level of success you currently have which is very few children who are actually bilingual.
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      > > > Jack
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    • pamythompson
      School board establishes world language pilot program http://www.baltimoresun.com/explore/howard/news/ph-ho-cf-programs-policy-0616-20110616,0,1495654.story
      Message 47 of 47 , Jun 13, 2011
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        School board establishes world language pilot program


        http://www.baltimoresun.com/explore/howard/news/ph-ho-cf-programs-policy-0616-20110616,0,1495654.story

        --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, Ray Lischner <rl.edu@...> wrote:
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        > Debra wrote:
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        > > Perhaps learning about another culture, along with some knowledge of
        > > vocabulary and writing Chinese, is really the goal of elementary exposure
        > > to Mandarin and other Modern/World Language
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        > If so, I recommend choosing a different culture each year.
        > --
        > Ray Lischner
        >
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