Foreign language immersion daycare

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Cash
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Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by Cash » Sat Jun 09, 2018 1:33 pm

We are expecting our first child this fall and are exploring childcare options. We will likely have a nanny for the first year. The question is what to do after that.

There are several high-quality daycares close to our jobs, and we are on the waitlist for one that comes highly recommended.

However, we are fascinated by an alternative: a foreign language immersion school that teaches Spanish, French, and Mandarin from daycare through fifth grade. We took a tour of the school and liked what we saw--the kids really do seem to be learning the languages.

The primary problem is this: It would add approximately 1.5 hours of busy interstate driving to our daily roundtrip commutes (which currently consists of a short drive on local roads). We could cut that down to approximately 40-45 minutes if we hire a part-time nanny to pick up the child in the afternoons (we will probably hire a part-time nanny even with another daycare). Still, that would be quite an inconvenience. We talked with a doctor couple that lives nearby and sends both of their kids there, and they raved about the school, but acknowledged that the daily commute was bad.

My question is for those who have kids who have done foreign language immersion programs...do you think it would be worth it? We are prepared to supplement math/science with tutors and/or after-school programs if necessary. But all of the research that I've read indicates that there is a marked difference in fluency between kids who are immersed in foreign languages early vs. the traditional few hours of foreign language study in most schools. It also seems easier to supplement math/science than foreign language skills.

minimalistmarc
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by minimalistmarc » Sat Jun 09, 2018 1:39 pm

If somebody paid me money I wouldn’t do this, but that’s just my opinion

Tribonian
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by Tribonian » Sat Jun 09, 2018 1:47 pm

Cash wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 1:33 pm
We talked with a doctor couple that lives nearby and sends both of their kids there, and they raved about the school, but acknowledged that the daily commute was bad.
Is carpooling a possibility?

We did not have an option locally; if there had been one, I’d’ve endured the inconvenience and expense.

OnTrack2020
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by OnTrack2020 » Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:04 pm

No.

The only way I would even remotely consider this is if you, the parent, speaks one of these foreign languages also at home. Do you?

After-school programs are typically child care.

Isabelle77
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by Isabelle77 » Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:08 pm

So discounting the driving, which I personally would never do, I am Canadian where French immersion schools are quite common. My mom, who is an elementary school teacher, felt that immersion programs were great for bright kids who have zero learning challenges.

Often in Canada a good immersion school had superior students than the regular public programs. The problem is when the student does have a learning difficulty and switching between two languages becomes challenging and a detriment to overall learning. Finally, despite early fluency, many of the children from immersion programs lose their skills as they get older and many aren’t fluent at all by college.

HongKonger
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by HongKonger » Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:08 pm

My sister did this with her daughter from 6 months old in Mandarin. My niece subsequently also went part time to a French kindy as a feeder to the French international school. She is fully trilingual. It didn't impede any academic development whatsoever - far from it. I would absolutely say do it and yes, hire a driver/nanny. FYI - only English is spoken in the home.

OnTrack2020
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by OnTrack2020 » Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:23 pm

Isabelle77 wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:08 pm
So discounting the driving, which I personally would never do, I am Canadian where French immersion schools are quite common. My mom, who is an elementary school teacher, felt that immersion programs were great for bright kids who have zero learning challenges.

Often in Canada a good immersion school had superior students than the regular public programs. The problem is when the student does have a learning difficulty and switching between two languages becomes challenging and a detriment to overall learning. Finally, despite early fluency, many of the children from immersion programs lose their skills as they get older and many aren’t fluent at all by college.
Yep, 100% this. I mentioned above, unless a child is going to have the ongoing ability to use the language, such as with a parent at home that is fluent in the language. Also, if totally immersed in the language (am not talking about school situations), but potentially the country of the language, those skills will be lost. Isabelle is correct.

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JPH
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by JPH » Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:28 pm

Consider how you personally react during a high traffic commute. Do you sit with teeth clenched and a white knuckles grip on the steering wheel, or can you enjoy the ride by chilling out with an audio book, music, or good radio broadcast?
While the moments do summersaults into eternity | Cling to their coattails and beg them to stay - Townes Van Zandt

stan1
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by stan1 » Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:29 pm

OnTrack2020 wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:04 pm
No.

The only way I would even remotely consider this is if you, the parent, speaks one of these foreign languages also at home. Do you?

After-school programs are typically child care.
If you speak the language at home you don't need the immersion especially as an infant/toddler.

The driving would completely negate any possible benefit.

No child will be at a lifelong disadvantage because she didn't learn Mandarin as a toddler. In fact I'd say the very unlikely risk of death or injury due to a car accident during the lengthy daily commute would concern me more than having my infant and toddler learn Mandarin in a day care facility. You'll get more value from being at home interacting with your child than having her in the car seat while you drive.

Chose a care provider who loves your child and who has experience raising infants and toddlers. People are individuals even at a very young age and have different needs. Since a child that young can't communicate clearly you need someone who has a great sense about the child's needs and acts on them. That comes with experience not education.
Last edited by stan1 on Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

cherijoh
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by cherijoh » Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:48 pm

Cash wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 1:33 pm
We are expecting our first child this fall and are exploring childcare options. We will likely have a nanny for the first year. The question is what to do after that.

There are several high-quality daycares close to our jobs, and we are on the waitlist for one that comes highly recommended.

However, we are fascinated by an alternative: a foreign language immersion school that teaches Spanish, French, and Mandarin from daycare through fifth grade. We took a tour of the school and liked what we saw--the kids really do seem to be learning the languages.

The primary problem is this: It would add approximately 1.5 hours of busy interstate driving to our daily roundtrip commutes (which currently consists of a short drive on local roads). We could cut that down to approximately 40-45 minutes if we hire a part-time nanny to pick up the child in the afternoons (we will probably hire a part-time nanny even with another daycare). Still, that would be quite an inconvenience. We talked with a doctor couple that lives nearby and sends both of their kids there, and they raved about the school, but acknowledged that the daily commute was bad.

My question is for those who have kids who have done foreign language immersion programs...do you think it would be worth it? We are prepared to supplement math/science with tutors and/or after-school programs if necessary. But all of the research that I've read indicates that there is a marked difference in fluency between kids who are immersed in foreign languages early vs. the traditional few hours of foreign language study in most schools. It also seems easier to supplement math/science than foreign language skills.
I know of several language immersion schools but they start at Kindergarten and run until 5th grade. Also, I think you need to choose one language for each child although several are offered at the school. This is the first I've ever heard of a language immersion daycare.

Have you considered looking into an au pair program as an alternative to daycare? Do you have space (and the willingness) to have someone live-in? I volunteer with a program that helps non-native English speakers who wish to improve their English. So I personally know a number of former and current au pairs. Several of the au pairs I know have mentioned that their "host families" selected them because they wanted their kids to learn the au pair's native language. This might give you an option for when the kids are younger.

Quite often they are college grads taking a gap year - I understand the screening process is very rigorous. For most au pair programs you have to commit to a year, but if both the host family and the au pair agree it can be renewed for a second year. And some families just get a series of au pairs - one au pair I know is the third Japanese au pair for a family of now 4-year old twins.

retired recently
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by retired recently » Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:51 pm

I would consider it if it were nearby but probably would not do this given the commute as it is a lot of unnecessary time in a car for a small kid. Agree with many others that unless they have the opportunity to really use the language, it will be quite difficult to keep it.

My son spoke Russian almost exclusively til he was 4, we lived in Russian-speaking countries and my wife speaks Russian, so did relatives and the nanny, etc. We moved back to the US at 5 and we have kept up lessons and my wife still speaks to him in Russian. His Russian is much better than many/most other kids from dual language families but it has been a consistent effort.

His Spanish is pretty decent but we have supplemented the public school lessons with an online tutor from Peru. Not sure if already knowing one language helped or not but he did not seem to have a big problem learning it.

mega317
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by mega317 » Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:53 pm

Our oldest is in an immersion preschool, and we're both pediatricians. In my opinion it's mostly a novelty. It's wonderful to learn another language and learn about other cultures, but that can happen in plenty of other ways. We're actually moving him to an English-only class. Not to say there is anything wrong with language immersion, but it hasn't been a great fit for our son specifically, and we don't feel at all strongly about the potential benefits. I can't think of anything in the world that a school could offer that would be worth adding that to your commute.

OnTrack2020
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by OnTrack2020 » Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:58 pm

stan1 wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:29 pm
OnTrack2020 wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:04 pm
No.

The only way I would even remotely consider this is if you, the parent, speaks one of these foreign languages also at home. Do you?

After-school programs are typically child care.
If you speak the language at home you don't need the immersion especially as an infant/toddler.

The driving would completely negate any possible benefit.

No child will be at a lifelong disadvantage because she didn't learn Mandarin as a toddler. In fact I'd say the very unlikely risk of death or injury due to a car accident during the lengthy daily commute would concern me more than having my infant and toddler learn Mandarin in a day care facility. You'll get more value from being at home interacting with your child than having her in the car seat while you drive.

Chose a care provider who loves your child and who has experience raising infants and toddlers. People are individuals even at a very young age and have different needs. Since a child that young can't communicate clearly you need someone who has a great a great sense about the child's needs and acts on them. That comes with experience not education.
Yes, if the child (toddler and beyond) is going to be enrolled in an immersion language program, then it also should be spoken at home also; otherwise, it's just the child going to school and learning another language. That is not immersion.

123
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by 123 » Sat Jun 09, 2018 3:04 pm

I would not condemn an infant/toddler to a couple of hundred extra hours a year in a car seat.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

CedarWaxWing
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by CedarWaxWing » Sat Jun 09, 2018 3:07 pm

In regards to Au Pair. We had a VERY bad experience with this mode of childcare. We were lied to about the experience of the Au Pair and also about her being a non smoker. She clearly was a smoker, and lied on her application after being told that being a smoker would prevent her from going to some homes... Duh? She abused her car privileges, called us for bailing her out of a jam at 100 am when I needed to be up at 530 am (as always) to get to work. The final straw was lying about taking our 2 year old's temperature on an eve when we had to be out for 4 hours one night. I made a special effort to demonstrate how to use a thermometer on my 2 year old, and showed her how to record the temps (to be taken hourly while we were out because of it being high enough that if it rose I would have come home and instituted cooling with water.

We finally had to fire her... and in spite of the dishonesty on the application, we had to pay for her airplane ticket back to Europe. Not being able to interview someone ahead of time is a huge disadvantage... and the placements of the Au Pairs are rewarded with commissions. We had the impression that the Au Pair programs were in some way altruistic... but later were told the program is in fact a profit making situation for the companies that place people. Very poor quality control.

IF I were to get an Au Pair primarily for exposing my child to a second language, I think I would go for a naturalized person living in the USA already... with the intent of it becoming a long term situation.

cherijoh
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by cherijoh » Sat Jun 09, 2018 3:20 pm

CedarWaxWing wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 3:07 pm
In regards to Au Pair. We had a VERY bad experience with this mode of childcare. We were lied to about the experience of the Au Pair and also about her being a non smoker. She clearly was a smoker, and lied on her application after being told that being a smoker would prevent her from going to some homes... Duh? She abused her car privileges, called us for bailing her out of a jam at 100 am when I needed to be up at 530 am (as always) to get to work. The final straw was lying about taking our 2 year old's temperature on an eve when we had to be out for 4 hours one night. I made a special effort to demonstrate how to use a thermometer on my 2 year old, and showed her how to record the temps (to be taken hourly while we were out because of it being high enough that if it rose I would have come home and instituted cooling with water.

We finally had to fire her... and in spite of the dishonesty on the application, we had to pay for her airplane ticket back to Europe. Not being able to interview someone ahead of time is a huge disadvantage... and the placements of the Au Pairs are rewarded with commissions. We had the impression that the Au Pair programs were in some way altruistic... but later were told the program is in fact a profit making situation for the companies that place people. Very poor quality control.

IF I were to get an Au Pair primarily for exposing my child to a second language, I think I would go for a naturalized person living in the USA already... with the intent of it becoming a long term situation.
I'm curious, which au pair program did you work through? There are several that I know of. It definitely sounds like you got a bad apple. Many of the au pairs I know have stayed close to their host families after they finish their programs. Some have come back to visit Charlotte and mentioned staying with their host families. Several were able to get student visas and came back to Charlotte. Most of those continued to work as baby-sitters to their "kids" during the school year and over the summer.

mrsbetsy
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by mrsbetsy » Sat Jun 09, 2018 4:01 pm

As a teacher, this is a terrible idea. My biggest challenge with students who have parents that speak a native language at home is their limited English vocabulary. Not only are they not hearing the nuances of English, they simply are not growing in their vocabulary. To purposefully do this to a toddler seems a bit irresponsible.

I completely understand the desire for duel languages, but please don't let the majority of their day be spent doing something like this.

The incredible waste of time in a carseat is also in the realm of irresponsible.

Loik098
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by Loik098 » Sat Jun 09, 2018 4:26 pm

You say you've done some research on the fluency part, but didn't indicate how long these studies you've examined have followed the participants. Are these kids you're reading about still fluent as adults?

If I were in your position, I would attempt to locate scientific research/surveys that indicates which activities (peer-to-peer interaction, reading, writing, math, science, language, etc) provide the highest guaranteed return of value when the child becomes an adult, and focus my attention on those.

Don't get caught up in the novelty of a program, or swept away by the words of a doctor friend or anecdotes from fellow posters with children here. Focus on the data: will doing this provide long-term benefit for your child?

If no such data exists, then write a pro/con list and make your decision based on it.

Cash
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by Cash » Sat Jun 09, 2018 4:48 pm

Thanks for the replies so far, everyone! To answer a couple of questions: We speak only English at home, though I know a decent amount of Spanish (part of our motivation: we both took Spanish in high school and college but are nowhere near fluent).

We've considered getting an au pair, but a couple of things are leading us away from that: First, we value our space and do not know if we would want another person living with us 24/7. Second, we do not want to purchase another car and live in a very car-dependent area.

As for research, these are the two best studies I've found:
Prior studies of DLI have shown that students in such programs perform as well as or better than their peers in core content areas such as English language arts, mathematics, and science — which are all typically tested in English — especially by mid-elementary school. However, those studies left open the question of whether the effects should be attributed to the DLI programs themselves or to the characteristics of the families and students who chose to enroll in those programs.

PPS students randomly assigned to DLI outperformed their peers on state accountability tests in reading by 13 percent of a standard deviation in grade 5 and by 22 percent of a standard deviation in grade 8. This represents roughly seven additional months of learning in grade 5 and nine additional months in grade 8.[1] While the researchers did not find a statistically significant benefit in math or science, they also found no detriment, even though students received math and science instruction at least partially in the partner language through grade 5.

It is also noteworthy that by eighth grade, on average, PPS DLI students reached intermediate levels of proficiency in the partner languages as measured by the STAMP 4S (Standards-Based Measurement of Proficiency), compared with the novice levels of proficiency attained by PPS eighth-graders studying Spanish in non-immersion foreign language classes.
https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB9903.html
Promoting student understanding of more abstract and complex concepts becomes increasingly difficult in the upper elementary grades and beyond. Some upper-elementary immersion teachers, in particular those who teach in partial or 50:50 programs, report difficulties in teaching advanced-level subject matter because students' cognitive development is at a higher level than their proficiency in the second language.[xxxv] This challenge becomes more pronounced in programs where the immersion language is character-based, since literacy development is more time-consuming and demanding.[xxxvi]

One of the greatest challenges for immersion teachers is to keep their students using the second language, especially when working and talking amongst themselves. This challenge is particularly pronounced once the children have moved beyond the primary grades. For instance, studies in both one-way and two-way immersion classes point to fifth-grade students using English more frequently than their non-English language.[xxxvii] Facilitating student use of the immersion language in ways that promote ongoing language development is an uphill battle for teachers.[xxxviii]

Finally, outcome-oriented research reveals that immersion students, especially those who begin the program as native English speakers, don't quite achieve native-like levels of speaking and writing skills. Studies consistently find that English-speaking immersion students' oral language lacks grammatical accuracy, lexical specificity, native pronunciation, and is less complex and sociolinguistically appropriate when compared with the language native speakers of the second language produce.[xxxix] Further, students' use of the immersion language appears to become increasingly anglicized over time,[xl] and can be marked by a more formal academic discourse style.[xli] Even in high-performing immersion programs, advancing students' second language proficiency beyond the intermediate levels remains a much sought after end goal.
http://carla.umn.edu/immersion/document ... rtune.html
Loik098 wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 4:26 pm
If I were in your position, I would attempt to locate scientific research/surveys that indicates which activities (peer-to-peer interaction, reading, writing, math, science, language, etc) provide the highest guaranteed return of value when the child becomes an adult, and focus my attention on those.
I would love to find such a study. Are you aware of one?

jodydavis
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by jodydavis » Sat Jun 09, 2018 5:15 pm

It all depends on how much exposure to another language is worth it to you. The cost (in terms of commute) is high. Even if you hire someone to drive your child back and forth, that's a lot of extra time strapped into a car seat every single day. Not only is that probably not great for the child's development, but there is a non-trivial safety risk being on the road that much more.

Whether that cost is worth the benefit is entirely subjective. I will say (as a first-generation child of immigrants, who spoke Chinese as a first language, retains some of it, but has lost fluency and literacy, and has two children who I would love to speak Mandarin), echoing others, that you should not overestimate the ability of a language immersion school to confer long-lasting fluency. There's an illusion that simply putting them in such a school is enough, when in reality, it requires a lot of determination and consistency, speaking the language at home and following through in later years.

likegarden
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by likegarden » Sat Jun 09, 2018 5:35 pm

We did not want our son to spent much time on a foreign language and not enough on other important school subjects. There is only so much time available for learning.
I was born and studied in Germany, speak German, but not at home here in the US. My wife learned how to speak German after our wedding, so she could speak to my family on visits. My son took German classes in middle and high school, my grandson now too. Our emphasis is that son and grandson learn all they can get in math and English which would be very important for college. I.e. I taught our grandson 5th grade math one summer vacation, so he could jump into 6th grade honors while in 5th grade. Languages are of second importance to us. I and son are engineers, grandson is very good in math and science (and other subjects in school).

Loik098
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by Loik098 » Sat Jun 09, 2018 5:46 pm

Cash wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 4:48 pm
Loik098 wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 4:26 pm
If I were in your position, I would attempt to locate scientific research/surveys that indicates which activities (peer-to-peer interaction, reading, writing, math, science, language, etc) provide the highest guaranteed return of value when the child becomes an adult, and focus my attention on those.
I would love to find such a study. Are you aware of one?
I didn't have a particular one in mind when I made the suggestion, but there are some recommendations for a start:

www.talkingisteaching.org
Birth to Five: Watch Me Thrive! (https://www.acf.hhs.gov/ecd/child-healt ... -me-thrive)
Head Start's National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning (https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/ncecdtl)
Head Start's National Center for Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness (https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/culture-language)
Center for Early Literacy Learning (http://www.earlyliteracylearning.org/)

A visit to your local library's section for early education might provide you with good, recent literature that will include studies in its citations. There have been other threads on this forum (e.g., viewtopic.php?f=11&t=139473) that discuss parenting books; some of the best have pages and pages of citations in them.

PoppyA
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by PoppyA » Sat Jun 09, 2018 5:48 pm

Personally, I don’t feel it is in the best interest of the child to put a lot of high level challenges above the love and closeness of day to day family affairs.

Life should include fun and joy. The child is not even born and you appear to be working too hard.
“Your labor income makes you rich, not your investments.”

letsgobobby
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by letsgobobby » Sat Jun 09, 2018 6:18 pm

We adore our immersion program, which is in a public school and goes k-5. Our kids have loved the additional challenge. We've had to supplement a little writing and of course we read a lot at home. But I wouldn't do it with that commute.

Nuestroro
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by Nuestroro » Sat Jun 09, 2018 6:35 pm

I’m bilingual and it’s extrmely important to me and my wife that our children be bilingual. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t spend 45-90 minutes a day driving to an immersion school. Commuting is one of the biggest sources of unhappiness. One researcher pegged the cost of an hour-long commute at $40k/year. (As in, people would demand $40k to commute an hour more.) That sounds low to me given the increased risk of obesity, divorce, insomnia, etc. that come with a long commute. And that’s even before you factor in having a kid in the car for 45 min. He likely won’t be happy, which will make it all the more stressful.

https://www.npr.org/2011/10/19/14151446 ... ve-happily

http://www.slate.com/articles/business/ ... g_you.html

carguyny
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by carguyny » Sat Jun 09, 2018 6:45 pm

By the time your unborn child is an adult, the only use of speaking foreign languages will be to impress the opposite sex. Technology is already very close to making the skill obsolete. We do VCs with live translation from time to time where the software takes care of it. My team member with 5 fluent languages is pretty frustrated...

btenny
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by btenny » Sat Jun 09, 2018 7:09 pm

Be very careful of nannies or day care drivers. My son was hurt badly in a car wreck when he was 8. He was going to school from his day care school. The lady driver ran a stop sign and was broad sided. She was a very nice lady and was great with kids but not a great driver (I did not know this part) . So there are trade offs.

Good Luck.

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Smorgasbord
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by Smorgasbord » Sat Jun 09, 2018 7:29 pm

My preference would just be to hire a nanny fluent in your language of choice rather than having a marathon commute with a fussy toddler in the back. In a previous post Cash mentioned they lived in Florida, so it should be pretty easy to find one that speaks Spanish.

mrsbetsy
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by mrsbetsy » Sat Jun 09, 2018 8:12 pm

Loik098 wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 5:46 pm
Cash wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 4:48 pm
Loik098 wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 4:26 pm
If I were in your position, I would attempt to locate scientific research/surveys that indicates which activities (peer-to-peer interaction, reading, writing, math, science, language, etc) provide the highest guaranteed return of value when the child becomes an adult, and focus my attention on those.
I would love to find such a study. Are you aware of one?
I didn't have a particular one in mind when I made the suggestion, but there are some recommendations for a start:

www.talkingisteaching.org
Birth to Five: Watch Me Thrive! (https://www.acf.hhs.gov/ecd/child-healt ... -me-thrive)
Head Start's National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning (https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/ncecdtl)
Head Start's National Center for Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness (https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/culture-language)
Center for Early Literacy Learning (http://www.earlyliteracylearning.org/)

A visit to your local library's section for early education might provide you with good, recent literature that will include studies in its citations. There have been other threads on this forum (e.g., viewtopic.php?f=11&t=139473) that discuss parenting books; some of the best have pages and pages of citations in them.
+1

A significant part of my life is spent with gifted students and not one standardized test gives a hoot about another language. However, the vocabulary, idioms, similes, and inferred language is a *huge* component.

While I understand such ideas are trendy, the above basic parenting advice is golden.

Loik098
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by Loik098 » Sat Jun 09, 2018 10:03 pm

carguyny wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 6:45 pm
By the time your unborn child is an adult, the only use of speaking foreign languages will be to impress the opposite sex. Technology is already very close to making the skill obsolete. We do VCs with live translation from time to time where the software takes care of it. My team member with 5 fluent languages is pretty frustrated...
Fascinating. I had not thought of OP's question in this context. At my job, we also use translation services for patients, but it is just a phone call away.
Thank you for sharing.

P.S. Please let me know when I can order my universal translator :D

Lynette
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by Lynette » Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:07 pm

Loik098 wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 10:03 pm
carguyny wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 6:45 pm
By the time your unborn child is an adult, the only use of speaking foreign languages will be to impress the opposite sex. Technology is already very close to making the skill obsolete. We do VCs with live translation from time to time where the software takes care of it. My team member with 5 fluent languages is pretty frustrated...
Fascinating. I had not thought of OP's question in this context. At my job, we also use translation services for patients, but it is just a phone call away.
Thank you for sharing.

P.S. Please let me know when I can order my universal translator :D
Have you tried Google translator that is available from the google.com website? I just typed a sentence in English and translated it into Spanish. Then i clicked on the icon to speak and I have reasonable Spanish. I know that before I retired, most of the technical manuals were being translated using translators.

One has to be careful with many languages that have genders as Google translator lands up with some strange stuff. Of course, some of the translators are far more sophisticated - and expensive than Google. Artificial intelligence is becoming better and I think translators could learn the nuances of the language.
Last edited by Lynette on Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

gtd98765
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by gtd98765 » Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:12 am

We lived in Rome for several years and sent my daughter to Italian preschool for two years. When we left Italy she had beautiful, native, fluent Italian. She had a good time after a short period of adjustment, and it did not interfere at all with her English abilities. On the other hand, twenty years later she does not even remember that she ever spoke Italian. Language is a use-it-or-lose-it subject, so unless you think you can keep the foreign language exposure going until adolescence, it probably, unfortunately, will not stick.

mouses
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by mouses » Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:18 am

carguyny wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 6:45 pm
By the time your unborn child is an adult, the only use of speaking foreign languages will be to impress the opposite sex. Technology is already very close to making the skill obsolete. We do VCs with live translation from time to time where the software takes care of it. My team member with 5 fluent languages is pretty frustrated...
That's like saying people don't need to know how to do arithmetic because they can use a calculator, real or electronic. A certain level of knowledge is indispensable or else the person is just a dolt.

mouses
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by mouses » Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:20 am

mrsbetsy wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 8:12 pm

A significant part of my life is spent with gifted students and not one standardized test gives a hoot about another language. However, the vocabulary, idioms, similes, and inferred language is a *huge* component.
My experience with standardized tests is that they suck eggs.

Cash
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by Cash » Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:11 am

You guys are giving us a lot to think about. We both love foreign travel and languages and thought that this would be a way to impart that love to our child (while perhaps giving him an upper hand in certain educational/career contexts later on), but perhaps we should approach that differently.
letsgobobby wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 6:18 pm
We adore our immersion program, which is in a public school and goes k-5. Our kids have loved the additional challenge. We've had to supplement a little writing and of course we read a lot at home. But I wouldn't do it with that commute.
Which language(s) are they learning? If I recall correctly, you live in the Portland area, which has excellent immersion programs incorporated into the public schools (Portland public schools are the focus of the first study I posted above). I wish all school districts were like yours in that respect. We have a local public elementary school that advertises Spanish and French immersion, but friends have been less than impressed with the actual amount of instructional time spent in those languages.
btenny wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 7:09 pm
Be very careful of nannies or day care drivers. My son was hurt badly in a car wreck when he was 8. He was going to school from his day care school. The lady driver ran a stop sign and was broad sided. She was a very nice lady and was great with kids but not a great driver (I did not know this part) . So there are trade offs.

Good Luck.
I'm sorry to hear that. Yes, that is a very real concern for us. Most nanny agencies (including care.com) provide driving histories, but that's about as good as one can do without giving the nanny a road test before hiring.
Smorgasbord wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 7:29 pm
My preference would just be to hire a nanny fluent in your language of choice rather than having a marathon commute with a fussy toddler in the back. In a previous post Cash mentioned they lived in Florida, so it should be pretty easy to find one that speaks Spanish.
We are actually more interested in Mandarin. That is much harder to learn later on, and Mandarin-speaking nannies are not very common down here.
gtd98765 wrote:
Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:12 am
We lived in Rome for several years and sent my daughter to Italian preschool for two years. When we left Italy she had beautiful, native, fluent Italian. She had a good time after a short period of adjustment, and it did not interfere at all with her English abilities. On the other hand, twenty years later she does not even remember that she ever spoke Italian. Language is a use-it-or-lose-it subject, so unless you think you can keep the foreign language exposure going until adolescence, it probably, unfortunately, will not stick.
The plan would be to use this school through 5th grade, then send him to a private school middle and high that offers advanced language classes. Nevertheless, we acknowledge that one risk is that our child will not wish to continue with the language(s) when he is older, and it will all have been for naught.

And yes, it's very possible that in 20 years, we will have have translators hardwired to our brains, rendering this all obsolete. Though I like to think that there will still be something special about being able to speak another culture's language unaided by technology.

letsgobobby
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by letsgobobby » Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:00 am

Mandarin.

Immersion should mean a minimum of 50% teaching in the language; ours is 90% in K, 80% in first, and so on. It never goes below 50% in elementary. The program continues in middle and high school with 2 hours daily. Obviously kids do drop out along the way so one unanticipated benefit of the program is that the class sizes are small, since kids cannot easily be put into the program later as they would not have the language skills. Our fifth grader has 17 kids in her class. We are also quite close to a number of the kids and families because the kids have stuck together for six years.

Kids without good family support and good foundations in classroom leaning (such as in preschool) and English reading tend to struggle in Chinese immersion K. It moves faster because there is twice as much to learn. Our teachers are fantastic but some are better than others and they are all "Chinese" and run their classrooms with a different style than most American kids and parents are used to. This can cause some cultural conflict. When we were shopping programs in K we saw a major difference in the classroom dynamic in the Mandarin and Spanish programs. We felt the Mandarin matched our family culture better.

There is little emphasis on writing in English early on and the classes are taught by native Mandarin speakers so as the kids get older some supplemental work may be needed, but we expect that to remedy itself when the kids transition to middle school and get mostly English instruction.

If you're even thinking about doing this drive you will want to know more about the details of the immersion program. Are parents satisfied? What is the dropout rate?What are the teachers like? How much teacher turnover has there been? What curriculum do they use? What support exists from the administration or school district, if applicable? Are teachers provided opportunities for continuing education?

We feel extraordinarily lucky to have had this great opportunity. Note that we did move, twice, to optimize our experience with the program. It was worth it to us. That may be an option for you, to shorten the commute.

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Tycoon
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by Tycoon » Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:18 am

For my first 26 years I was immersed in a foreign language. Benefits? It certainly didn't make me smarter. I've earned no advantage that I can measure. I can't prove it, but it may have held me back (I attribute all grammar and spelling errors to having been immersed in a dual language home).

I know many people who speak more than one language, a few are bright, many are not so bright. Both my children are geniuses - literally. Neither speaks two languages unless high school Latin counts (I'm not bragging, just providing data points). I don't feel that immersing them in a foriegn language would have made them smarter. Heck, the verdict is still out about whether being a genius will help either of them at all. Neither of them are rich tycoons yet :( .

There are a ton of variables that drive an individual to be successful, and one person's definition of success may not match anyone else's. Learning a foreign language isn't a magic intelligence bullet. In some circles it may give the illusion of intelligence, but I won't go there.

Rant over...
Appeal to Pity:When pity is envoked to support a statement | Appeal to Popular Sentiment:Appealing to unrelated prejudices and attitudes | Hasty Generalization:Too little evidence to support the conclusion

RollTide31457
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by RollTide31457 » Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:27 am

Would not recommend this. Consider saving your money to send them to football, basketball, baseball, etc. camps later.

Jill07
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by Jill07 » Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:40 am

PoppyA wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 5:48 pm
Personally, I don’t feel it is in the best interest of the child to put a lot of high level challenges above the love and closeness of day to day family affairs.

Life should include fun and joy. The child is not even born and you appear to be working too hard.
+1
Commute is way too long. Use that time at the playground, reading, coloring or just being together as a family making dinner. Those are the memories you will cherish. Your child's early years are going to FLY BY faster than you can imagine.

stlrick
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by stlrick » Sun Jun 10, 2018 11:12 am

Children have differences in natural aptitudes. Some are inherently verbal, some mathematical, some musical. You are making a decision for your child without knowing them. It is common for children who are not unusually adept at languages but are exposed to two from birth to be behind in reading English once they enter 1st grade. Eventually, they catch up, but how might your child feel about signals that they are "not as smart" as some of their peers because of slower reading? You can't know now.

Second, why Mandarin? It is the language du jour. What percentage of adults have a career in which Mandarin is an advantage? Within the past 30 years, at different times, the language "that will be important in the future" has been thought to be Japanese, Russian, or Arabic. Before that, it was French or German.

My grandchildren are growing up in a bilingual home. Mother has tried to speak to them only in Spanish, father in English. Remember that language involves reading, speaking, writing, and listening. While the verbal communication can remain strong with this kind of daily reinforcement, the children eventually become surrounded by English (television, music, peers, etc), and writing and reading become hard to maintain.

Finally, you are adding an immense commute to your work-load without having any idea of the demands of parenting. My advice would be to slow down.

CedarWaxWing
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by CedarWaxWing » Sun Jun 10, 2018 12:53 pm

cherijoh wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 3:20 pm
CedarWaxWing wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 3:07 pm
In regards to Au Pair. We had a VERY bad experience with this mode of childcare. We were lied to about the experience of the Au Pair and also about her being a non smoker. She clearly was a smoker, and lied on her application after being told that being a smoker would prevent her from going to some homes... Duh? She abused her car privileges, called us for bailing her out of a jam at 100 am when I needed to be up at 530 am (as always) to get to work. The final straw was lying about taking our 2 year old's temperature on an eve when we had to be out for 4 hours one night. I made a special effort to demonstrate how to use a thermometer on my 2 year old, and showed her how to record the temps (to be taken hourly while we were out because of it being high enough that if it rose I would have come home and instituted cooling with water.

We finally had to fire her... and in spite of the dishonesty on the application, we had to pay for her airplane ticket back to Europe. Not being able to interview someone ahead of time is a huge disadvantage... and the placements of the Au Pairs are rewarded with commissions. We had the impression that the Au Pair programs were in some way altruistic... but later were told the program is in fact a profit making situation for the companies that place people. Very poor quality control.

IF I were to get an Au Pair primarily for exposing my child to a second language, I think I would go for a naturalized person living in the USA already... with the intent of it becoming a long term situation.
I'm curious, which au pair program did you work through? There are several that I know of. It definitely sounds like you got a bad apple. Many of the au pairs I know have stayed close to their host families after they finish their programs. Some have come back to visit Charlotte and mentioned staying with their host families. Several were able to get student visas and came back to Charlotte. Most of those continued to work as baby-sitters to their "kids" during the school year and over the summer.
Your description of others' experiences was what we had hoped for and worked toward. The girl we were paired with btw also lied about her educational and work experience. She was a 22 yr old going on 14. Dishonest, irresponsible, and definitely someone I would not have allowed to care for my boys if I had had the true objective information. We kept our expectations clear with the agency before we were paired with their "selection" based on our information. We also began discussing early with the au apair representative when we were noting the problems we were having and never saw evidence that this childish person understood what poor standing she was developing with us. We tried very hard to work out the problems that were arising, but the last straw was her not being able to be truthful with us about taking our son's temp when he had a flu virus. His temp was high, but not high enough to require active cooling when we had an important need to be away for about 4 hours. I personally showed her how to take the temp and record the results, how to shake down the mercury thermometer, and had her do it with me the day before that eve. I set up a table on paper to record the temps at certain times, and asked to be called if the temp went over a certain value. When we got home that eve, she had decided to write "normal" in the time slots... rather than a number (as we had directed her to write an exact number) . The temp on the thermometer was the exact number as the one we had last taken ourselves before leaving. After seeing "normal" and no numbers, and examining the thermometer, and being told that she had taken the temps on scheduled as directed, I asked her what "normal" meant to her and it she had shaken the thermometer down before each use... all she could say was "it was normal".. but had no idea what the normal temp was. That was our last straw.

My spouse tells me it was Au Pair International (admittedly this was 20 years ago and things could be better by now... but buyer beware... there were (are?) profit incentives to be placements done... and quality control was NOT what it should have been. The representative told me when we fired her, that our Au Pair was the worst one she had even had to "manage"... but they still placed her with a family in Detroit after us (we are on the west coast) against our recommendations.
Last edited by CedarWaxWing on Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CedarWaxWing
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by CedarWaxWing » Sun Jun 10, 2018 12:54 pm

duplicate deleted.

goodlifer
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by goodlifer » Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:30 pm

Since I am a stay at home mom, I wouldn't have a problem with a 1.5 hr commute for an immersion program if it was temporary, but driving that distance every week day for years? Nooooooooo. There are too many lunatics on the road around me.

Learning other languages is important to me but not my husband. In my personal experience, languages are forgotten when learned young and there isn't any reinforcement at home. My husband was born in France and left at a young age. He can't speak a word of it. A friend moved to the US from the Philippines when she was eight years old and has a very hard time remembering words. She can't remember enough to have a conversation. I think you remember more if you start learning at an older age even though it is said to be harder to learn. I started studying French when I was about 11 or 12 and continued into high school. I still remember enough to have a basic conversation with our exchange students and there isn't anyone around here to practice with. I also studied Spanish in college and remember enough to help our daughter with her course. I took one semester of Mandarin. Learning to speak it wasn't that hard. Trying to learn to write it was just a tragic outcome for me.

What I did was buy a few different CD courses when my daughter was a toddler and played them frequently. It helped me brush up on Spanish so I could practice colors and numbers with her. We would sing songs in Spanish or French. She is in 7th grade and her final grade for high school level Spanish is a B, and I think using the CD's helped her. She still remembered her colors and most of her numbers before class started. I'm not to sure about expecting a nanny to teach your child properly unless they are trained teachers. Two of my daughter's friends have nannies. One is Russian, the other Spanish. The kids know every swear word and slang, but nothing that would help them on a job interview.

Nutmeg
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by Nutmeg » Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:21 pm

It is understandable that the OP wants to make the best choices for the baby’s future. However, I think it is important to consider what the child needs most in life. As the parent of two young adults, I speak with some experience when I say that the child’s greatest need is to have loving caregivers who will spend time interacting with him. No child has a need for a 1.5 hour commute every weekday.

You might also wish to consider how much joy in life you would miss if you chose to spend your extra 1.5 hours driving with your child in the back seat rather than playing with and reading to your child.

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leeks
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by leeks » Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:59 pm

No way would I consider that commute for a young child.
Congratulations on the expected baby. I recommend "Simplicity Parenting" among the books to read before he or she arrives.
https://www.amazon.com/Simplicity-Paren ... +parenting

mrsbetsy
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by mrsbetsy » Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:24 pm

mouses wrote:
Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:20 am
mrsbetsy wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 8:12 pm

A significant part of my life is spent with gifted students and not one standardized test gives a hoot about another language. However, the vocabulary, idioms, similes, and inferred language is a *huge* component.
My experience with standardized tests is that they suck eggs.
Your opinion is vastly different from reality.

Katietsu
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by Katietsu » Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:33 pm

We are expecting our first child this fall and are exploring childcare options.
I suspect that by next spring you may be laughing at yourselves when you think back on this decision. I think you may be underestimating how precious that 1.5 hours of time will be to you and your child.

harrychan
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by harrychan » Sun Jun 10, 2018 11:10 pm

I am trilingual. I learned it through a natural environment where I spoke one language at school, another in the country I lived in and another language at home. I'm glad I did learn it because it enriched my perspective by being able to interact with the different cultures naturally. My kids only speak english. I'm fortunate that in my vicinity, there are numerous mandarin and spanish immersion schools. However, we didn't even bother applying to it. My kids don't show much interest in learning another language. In 5 years, the situation may change and and an immersion daycare may pop up. There is no way I would waste valuable face to face time with my kids to commute to an immersion day care.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.

Muso
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by Muso » Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:45 am

I am trilingual and I would not recommend a foreign language immersion daycare, in my opinion it is a waste of time and money, better to learn music which is the universal language and way more fun.

Isabelle77
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Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

Post by Isabelle77 » Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:38 am

Just wanted to share that I have a sibling who works as a Mandarin linguist and took their first language class in college.

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