Mandarin immersion programs aren’t the only ones that face push-back
In some places, parents who want their district to open a Mandarin immersion program get push-back from residents who suggest it’s all being controlled by China or that Americans should only learn English or that it’s all part of some nefarious plot.
I get a surprising amount of hate emails about how I must be a Chinese spy or in the pay of the Chinese (would that someone paid me for this work! It’s all just a labor of love) or simply hate America.
Oddly, no one ever says these things about French immersion programs.
Anyway, it’s instructive to remember that Mandarin isn’t the only language that seems to evoke hatred among some people. Best wishes to our friends-in-immersion at Houston’s new Arabic Immersion school.
Houston Independent School District opens new Arabic Immersion Magnet School
HOUSTON — When you first walk into a classroom at the Houston Independent School District’s newest campus, it seems like any other classroom on the first day of school. But look and listen more closely, and you’ll realize this one is in a class of its own.
“Parents are here because they chose to be here,” said Terry Grier, HISD’s superintendent.
Grier was on hand for the Monday opening of HISD’s new Arabic Immersion Magnet School (AIMS), the nation’s first public immersion school for the Arabic language.
District officials say 132 Pre-K and Kindergarten students from many different ethnic backgrounds were chosen through a competitive admissions process. They’ll spend half their day learning in English, the other half in Arabic, a language Grier hopes can eventually give students a competitive advantage in a global city and job market.
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