Expanding language immersion classes has become a priority in some schools, as the effectiveness of learning a second language at an early age throughout children’s school years has proven to be extremely effective.
In Duluth MN, the school board is considering plans for kindergarten sections in French, Spanish, and Mandarin. The sections could open as early as next year, and the intent is to add a grade each year.
School board member member Rosie Loeffler-Kemp asked that a decision be made before kindergarten roundup in March. “I would be thrilled to offer these languages at an early age,” she said.
The learning benefits are the main reason for the expansion. However, the board views language immersion as a way to narrow the achievement gap. and that is the main reson for the interest. Balancing school enrollment is also a benefit that the district believes may result.
Minnesota has about 70 immersion programs, and many are elementary level.