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My Recent Comments
I've always been a strong believer in the value of learning a language at the youngest possible age. I've traveled extensively and lived in Europe for short periods of time. I've worked with folks who normally spoke 3-4+ languages, most just as a result of growing up and having it ingrained in their lives, school included.
I personally wasn't introduced to any foreign languages until 7th grade. After three years of German I knew some words and could string together some basic sentences, but that was all. I found it very difficult to truly learn and master a foreign language.
Then I had kids...
My kids started out at a local Montessori school (the tremendous Ahwatukee Foothills Montessori.) Their curriculum includes Spanish from day 1 until graduation from kindergarten. My kids took right to it. They'd come home with all kinds of Spanish words, phrases and songs. To them it didn't seem foreign at all. Heck, they even learned a Chinese song from kids on the playground!
Then we left AFM and joined Kyrene. I was shocked to learn that Spanish instruction isn't even an elective until 7th grade (you can take it ONLY for half a year in 6th grade; oh, and that material is covered in duplicate if you take it in 7th grade anyway.) The school district is all to aware of the university requirement of a foreign language, yet they choose to DELAY learning until a time in the kids' lives when it's much more difficult? Seems crazy to me.
Now this survey comes out. Seems like 93% of those surveyed feel like me. They want to see Spanish brought back into the schools. I'm sure they aren't referring to middle school but K-5. Anyone who has kids or has tried to learn a foreign language knows "start as early as you can."
I'll be VERY anxious to see what Kyrene does about this very clear survey result. And I"ll be tremendously dismayed to not see a change in the 2013-2014 calendar year.
One side note: I know that the Kyrene Enrichment after school program does offer Spanish language enrichment. But that's no replacement for making it part of the core school curriculum.
Sep 14, 2012