Many language immersion schools work on the assumption that children can learn languages quicker than adults, but one school put the assumption into action with a field trip to Cuba.
“I’ve always been interested in culture and language,” said Atlanta mom Malika Smithof her choice to enroll her son, Colin, in pre-school. “I believe it’s important for him to learn the world is accessible to him, and part of that is learning a second language. In this school, he can broaden his language horizons and global view of the world.”
Smith enrolled Colin in the Little Linguists pre-school program in Decatur, which works with the dual language immersion Green School, accepting students in kindergarten through third grade. The students spend every other day speaking Spanish and taking classes in Spanish, but Smith wanted to extend the experience. So, she organized a field trip to Cuba for the students.
“I wanted a way to give them an immersive experience to practice not only the language but also to the learn the culture,” she said. “Cuba was a great choice because it’s just beginning to open up to allow these educational discovery programs, and it’s still somewhat unexplored by many Americans. It’s also close, and when you’re traveling with elementary school kids, the geographic proximity was a plus.”
34 Green School students ages 5 through 9 spent six days exploring Cuba, along with parents, some grandparents, and teachers.
“We had an educational agenda but didn’t pack it too tight because of the kids’ ages,” said Smith. “We stayed in old Havana, did tours in classic American cars, took salsa and Latin dance lessons and spent half day at a community arts center where our kids met other children and did projects with them.”