Tag: Teaching

The Importance of Dual-Language Immersion Programs

In today’s global economy, it is more important than ever to learn a second language. Not only do dual-language immersion programs benefit the non-native English speakers by allowing them a chance to learn in their native tongues, English speakers are gifted with the opportunity to pick up another language while continuing their education. This unique education model has demonstrated a host of benefits to all involved, but here are the top three advantages:

 

GLOBAL COMMUNITY: Exposing children at a young age to cultures different than their own has immeasurable benefits that will follow them for the rest of their lives. As children develop friendships with kids of diverse backgrounds, they learn a greater understand and tolerance for people with different views.

 

A healthy respect for the global community is also cultivated in dual language schools. In today’s shrinking world, this empathy and knowledge will take open-minded children further than their sheltered counterparts.

 

BILINGUAL ACHIEVEMENT: The overriding reason that parents choose this educational model for their children is because they want them to learn a second language. Short of moving to another country, a dual-language immersion school is the fastest and most effective way to teach a child a new language.

 

By graduation, most students are considered to be fluent in at least two languages, a life skill that will prove invaluable for the rest of their lives. Not only will learning two languages expand the worldview of the students, but it will also open up a myriad of additional job opportunities later on in life as they enter the workplace.

 

HIGHER OVERALL ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE: Learning a new language provides a host of benefits outside of the basic new dialect skill. Dual-language immersion students achieve a higher level of metalinguistic awareness, enabling them to understand the basic workings of any language. This understanding can be applied to a variety of learning tasks and situations.

 

Students in these type of programs also continually exhibit greater performance on problem-solving skills, pattern recognition, and other types of divergent thinking capabilities. Learning a second language helps to unlock different areas of the brain that lay dormant when learning in just one primary language. This benefit is seen in both the non-native speakers as well as the dominant language speakers.

Helping the Underachieving Student

Underachievement typically stems from emotional or psychological turbulence, not laziness.

Statistics regarding waning academic performance are troubling: Jo Ann Natale of The Education Digest determined that approximately 40 to 60 percent of students are underachievers. If your child isn’t living up to his or her potential, however, you can use this gentle guidance to get them back on track:

Have Your Child Screened For A Learning Disability

No amount of tutoring or positive reinforcement will help your child if he or she has an underlying learning disability. It is imperative that children in this instance are screened as soon as possible. Many students with ADHD and Inattentive ADHD aren’t properly diagnosed until high school, college or adulthood. That’s a long time to go without help.

Don’t Compare

One of the best ways to reinforce underachievement is comparisons that make children feel inadequate: “Why can’t you get good grades like your sister?” Comparisons to siblings, friends, neighbors — even yourself — can scald. If your child’s battling depression and insecurity, they’ll only intensify.

Schedule Parent-teacher Meetings

If you’ve noticed a problem, your child’s teacher probably has too. A parent-teacher meeting, including your child, would help. Meeting with a teacher will also alert him or her to whether your child cuts class or forgets an assignment, so that you can be notified. If your child hasn’t progressed after a month, revisit the teacher.

Build Your Child’s Confidence

Praise every victory your child has, small or large. Always use positive reinforcement — “I know you’ll do well on the test” — rather than negative reinforcement — “Don’t fail the test.” If they are particularly hard on themselves after having failed the test, reassure them that they are smart and will do better next time. Give sincere praise, not platitudes.

Your child may be wired differently than others, but that doesn’t mean they cannot live up to their full potential. Use these tips to help your underachieving student get back on the road to achievement. And the best thing you can do? Always remind them that they are loved, regardless of their school performance.