Supporting your child in immersion
It is important for parents to get involved by supporting their child in the immersion program.
- Encourage children by telling them how proud you are that they are learning Spanish.
- Do not feel discouraged if at the beginning, your child cries or seems nervous about this new experience. Your child will need some time to adjust to this new challenge. However, if this anxiety continues, it would be wise to discuss it with the teacher. By the beginning of October every child should be over the initial adjustment and be looking forward to going to school.
- Do not be upset if, after arriving home, your child does not feel like telling all about the day at school. Children take the routines of school for granted and often are in need of a change of subject once they get home.
- Do not expect your child to start speaking Spanish after the first few days, and do not try to force him or her to do so. Children will start to use Spanish on their own at their own individual pace. This can take up to six months.
- Get to know your child’s teacher either by a phone call or a personal visit. Take the time to get involved in some of the class activities. The teacher will certainly appreciate your assistance and your interest in the class.
- At all times, be supportive of your child, the program and the teacher. Be actively involved in your child’s school.
- Keep informed on immersion education.
- Encourage, but do not force, your child to speak Spanish at home when s/he is ready to do so.
- Do not attempt to correct your child if you are uncertain of the correct expression or pronunciation. Give your child the benefit of the doubt.
- Do not ask your child to translate. Students will not understand this concept in the very early grades.
- Do not give in to the temptation to compare your child’s progress to that of the neighbor children. No two teachers and no two students work at the same rate.
- Teach songs and nursery rhymes that are part of your child’s own heritage. Read stories to your child in English because English stories will not be heard at school in the beginning years of the immersion program.
- Take advantage of any opportunities to expose your child to the immersion language and culture(s) outside of the school setting.
- Let your child know that you are pleased with his or her progress.