Montclair Schools to Host Roundtable Meetings on World Language Education

world languageThe first of several roundtable meetings dedicated to World Language Education in Montclair K-5 schools takes place on Wednesday, December 11 from 7 – 9 pm.

Chief Academic Officer Gail Clarke will discuss the current practices, state standards pertaining to world language instruction, and the results of the recent language survey to which more than 600 Montclair families responded. Edgemont and Bullock parents Darryle Bogan and Garrett Morrison will describe how immersion education works in the NJ schools they have visited along with a question and answer period that will be moderated by Bradford parent Elizabeth Emery. The evening will conclude with brainstorming about how to implement a quality K-5 World Languages program in Montclair.

If there is enough interest, childcare will be provided. RSVP by email or call 973-509-4030 by December 6 if you need childcare.

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  1. Walleroo, I thought the same thing. The group leading the immersion path say the children will be completely fluent by third grade. Then they can go back to Rosetta Stone for brush up in 6-12.

  2. @walleroo and @mommy – there is live language instruction in grades 6-12 in Montclair. If we do go the immersion route, it seems clear that changes or additions would need to be made to that instruction. But it does exist, which isn’t currently true in grades K-5 by all reports.

  3. It will be interesting to see if this will be like the vaunted “wisdom sharing events” that we have all heard such lovely things about. will there be a 2-hour long powerpoint that prevents anyone from speaking? will robin kulwin show up with her angry gavel?

    This could either be an event where the district actually listens to people’s concerns and ideas, or it could be one where the district tells parents what they want.

  4. The group leading the immersion path say the children will be completely fluent by third grade.

    What happens to the “immersion” when the kid goes home at the end of the day to mommy and daddy who don’t speak a word of Chinese? It probably can’t do any harm, but I’m dubious about the claims.

  5. Walleroo,

    We’ve seen these kids in action. It’s impressive. A video is worth a thousand words:

    There are no additional costs to doing this. In fact, there are some attributes that could save the district millions. Immersion students generally test better than their monolingual peers. They pass the AP test in eighth or ninth grade and can head off to college with 12 credits in the target language.

  6. @walleroo. What good is 6-12 without K-5?
    K-5 students currently get no language instruction (except at Nishuane/Hillside), although it’s required in all NJ schools by law. Well, there are apparently videos of puppets on offer, but if that’s instruction then we might as well keep the kids at home, put on Gilligan’s Island re-runs, and call it school.

  7. But seriously, it’s fantastic to see the district asking for feedback BEFORE implementing a new program. 600+ families wrote in about K-5 language education? That’s a lot. I hope a bunch of them will show up. On-site babysitting, too? Thoughtful!

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