If you have kids in school, dual language immersion is probably a concept you love or hate. Dual language immersion (DLI) is a program where students spend half the day in English with one teacher and half the day with another teacher in a second language (French or Spanish). DLI has been a hot issue around Park City, as many parents have been upset that not all kids were able to participate into the program.
Yet we’ve always wondered, are you sacrificing either the language component or the educational component when you try to combine them. Much like we don’t trust a two-in-one shampoo and conditioner like Pert Plus, are we getting both the best French Teacher and the best Science teacher when they try to combine the two?
We were reminded of this yesterday when we listened to School Board member Moe Hickey tell a group of people that in New York City that all you had to do to become a teacher was sign your name on a piece of paper. His point was that there is a shortage of teachers and that is leading to unqualified teachers educating children. He then said that the same problem was headed to Utah. He did qualify his comment with, “not Park City though.”
Mr Hickey’s comments started us thinking about DLI. If it’s hard enough to get a competent teacher, how hard is it to get a competent teacher who is more than fluent in a foreign language, fluent in English, and knows a subject inside and out?
We don’t know the answer, but common sense tells us that it’s something to keep an eye on.