Sunday, February 8, 2009

Language barrier

Waunakee students are learning history in Spanish. Not OK.
Teaching about famous people and events in Wisconsin history in Spanish is not how some Waunakee parents want their fourth-graders learning social studies at school.

"We as parents have been in such an uproar over this," said Keith Wilke about the district’s elementary language program in which social studies is taught in Spanish for 30 minutes three days a week in first through fourth grades. "They’re force-fed Spanish."

This is the third year for the program, which has added one grade a year since 2006 and is designed to continue until fifth grade.

"A fair amount of (social studies instruction) has been in Spanish," said Wilke, who has a daughter in fourth grade. "The kids are to the point where they don’t understand it."
I am all about educating children in multiple languages at a young age, to encourage them to be bi- and multi-lingual, all while their brains are still developing and sponge-like.

HOWEVER, I do not approve of teaching other subjects in a foreign language, especially if they are then learning/retaining less because they can't understand the language their teacher is using.

Teach Spanish as a Spanish class. Don't teach history in spanish, or science, or math for that matter.

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