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Many families “don’t get” value of language immersion

January 26, 2012

The Sensitive Subject of Educational Reform

Posted: 1/16/12 04:18 PM ET
 From the Huffington Post

I am a SWISS Trilingual School parent. I am also the director of this small, unfortunately private, full-immersion school in Atlanta, Ga. Currently we are a K-3rd elementary school, and projected to the 12th grade. Most importantly, I am “G’s” mom and her awesomeness has nothing to do with me. I believe that a full-immersion language acquisition education is the future of education, not just in America, but around the world, and I believe that this investment will save our world economy.

Our journey began with my sister and her husband, parents to two girls who, from birth, were exposed to Japanese, French, Chinese, Spanish and English. Live-in au pairs and tutors helped to make this possible. When they married they decided to invest all of their money where they thought it would be most useful: in their children. By 2006 they moved to Atlanta and opened a school. With the impending birth of our daughter, we moved to Atlanta in 2008 so that she could receive this gift. On the day of her birth, she was held by my sister’s Japanese au-pair. From the day of her birth my sister spoke to her entirely in French. When she was 1 year old, her best friend was a 15-year-old Taiwanese exchange student. At 13 months, she said, “I want cake” in Mandarin; our decision had been validated.

 

Please read more here.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Justice Smith permalink
    February 9, 2012 6:22 pm

    I am a former parent at the SWISS school. First and foremost I have to say I agree with the concept of immersion education. And as my family and I departed from the school we have done so without any ill wishes to the institution or the concept. And, had I not come across this article I would have never looked back. But I have come across it and since former parents were brought up as people “who don’t get it” I feel obliged to speak directly about that. Two of the main issues at this school was the disorganized curriculum & finances. Parents were told the curriculum was based on the concepts of IB, Finnish, and Japanese curriculums only to find out that neither the teachers nor administration had backgrounds in any of those areas and were merely guessing their way through it all. Teacher & parent turnover is extremely high. Not one child since the school’s inception (besides the owners’ & director’s children) still attend this school, this should be an alarming sign to all! Administration had a surplus of funds however; they allowed the surplus to dwindle into debt in a matter of a few short months. Unfortunately, the owners & director got in the way of their own success due to overall poor management. This school will never be able to be fixed for that very sad reason. Do not put your children through this emotional roller coaster of a “school” if you do not have to.

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