Language Immersion Can Expand Students’ Brain Power as well as International Understanding
As foreign businesses such as BMW, Volvo and Michelin invest more in the Palmetto State, their languages (German, French, Swedish and more) will increasingly expose young South Carolinians to cultures their parents didn’t encounter. The S.C. Department of Education has begun, at the request of parents around the state, language immersion programs for students, focusing on Kindergarten through grade 5, though some continue into high school. Department World Language Associate Ruta Couet and German teacher Liz Lawrence-Baez say teaching students for a half-day exclusively in a foreign language, including the subjects of math and science in these languages, helps them learn these subjects as well as or better than they would in English. The program can also give these students a greater appreciation of world cultures, which the teachers hope will lead to better understanding between nations in years to come.