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‘So much more than a language’: How Indianapolis immersion schools prepare students

December 20, 2020

Sorell Grow Indianapolis Star

March 10, 2020

When the morning school bell rang, students in the halls of the International School of Indiana’s lower school building hurried into their respective classrooms. The elementary classrooms bustled with the sound of students chatting with one another as they get settled in for the day.

Unlike other classrooms across the state, these kids aren’t speaking English.

In one kindergarten class of about 12 students, Claudia Rodriguez leads the kids in counting. Rodriguez is from Monterrey, Mexico, and has worked as the ISI kindergarten Spanish teacher since 2015.

Another class of kindergarteners listened intently to their teacher, Wenjie Lyu — who is originally from Liaoning Province in China — as she speaks to them in Mandarin. And her students responded in the same language.

This atmosphere is a daily occurrence at ISI.

Language immersion schools positively affect intellectual growth and lifelong communication skills — particularly if a child is enrolled from a young age, according to research conducted at institutions such as the University of Minnesota and the University of Maryland. These schools also provide children with the asset of fluency in multiple languages once they enter the job market.

Please read more here.

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