Is Language Immersion School Right For Your Child?

When looking for a private school, parents have many different options available. The type of school you choose will depend on the educational goals you have for your children. One option is language immersion, but you'll want to know some of the details about this type of private school before you make a decision. Here are just some of the things you should consider before enrolling your child in a private language immersion school. 

What Type Of Language Instruction Is Offered?

Schools offer different types of language immersion, depending on their curriculum and the makeup of the student population. Some schools offer partial language immersion, which means the secondary language being taught is used part of the time, and English is used for the other portion of each school day. Full language immersion means your child will be instructed in the secondary language with minimal to no English used. If the school you select is full immersion, be sure your child is comfortable with the idea of not using his or her native English during the school day. For younger children, you may want to select a school that eases children into full immersion as they get older.

What Languages Will Be Taught?

While teaching a child any second language can be beneficial, the language program you choose will depend on your preferences. If you live in an area with a large Hispanic population, you may want to choose a Spanish-speaking program. Families who travel to Europe often may want to select a program that offers German or French. Some language immersion schools offer multiple language instruction, which means your child might be able to learn several languages.

What About State Testing?

While your child will be attending a private school, state standardized testing may still be required. Be sure to ask what language the testing will be offered in. Your child may feel more comfortable taking the tests in English, while others may be confident enough to take them in the new language.

What Are The Parent Expectations?

If you don't speak the language your child is learning, you may want to ask the teacher what is expected of you. Children may be required to practice at home, and parents may be required to help with foreign language homework assignments. Talk to the school about its expectations for parents, and consider taking a class or two in the new language so you can help your child with practicing conversations at home.

Language immersion is not necessarily right for every family, but it can be a great way for your child to gain skills he or she can use later in life. If you are interested in this type of private schooling, schedule an appointment at a school in your area to learn more about the programs offered so you can decide if it is the right option for your child.