Language Immersion Broadens Abilities
A language immersion program is a great way to give your child a leg-up in the job market. Careers that require the knowledge of a second language pay enormously well and tend to have less competition in the United States, where second language training isn’t especially common. Studying in language immersion does much more than simply teach your child the basics of another language: it allows the student to experience the language and, as such, actually become fluent.
In North America, the two most common language training institutions include Spanish immersion and French immersion. Both can be found in many public school districts. Private schools may also offer additional immersion programs, including Asian, East Indian, or even Native American languages.
If your child is interested in language immersion, you shouldn’t be hesitant to allow him or her to attend for fear that you won’t be able to help with homework in a language you don’t understand. Language immersion programs are based on the fact that the student is working in a second language, and will provide lots of opportunity for extra help for both students and parents.
Spanish Immersion Programs
Spanish immersion programs are offered by some public schools, but more often can be found in private schools or as an extra schooling option to be completed during the summer or after school is completed. Many Spanish immersion programs are involved in exchanges, which allow students to experience both the language and the culture as they spend a semester (or more) with a family in Spain.
For students who wish to experience the exchange element of a Spanish immersion program but are worried about the cost, look for programs that allow a reduced cost (or even no cost) if you agree to host an exchange student in your home. Hosting an exchange student will not only help with the cost of the exchange, but will also continue to encourage students in their second language, as they have someone with whom to practice.
French Immersion Camps
If you’re concerned about enrolling your student in full-time French immersion, starting with time spent at French immersion camps is a good way to ease into the program. French immersion camps are often held during the summer, but may also be found on a shorter term basis during holidays or weekends.
A French immersion camp can provide your child with the chance to experience the language and culture, without totally taking him or her out of their English language classwork.