Thursday, August 16, 2012
Diary of a Bilingual School: How a Constructivist Curriculum, a Multicultural Perspective, and a Commitment to Dual Immersion Education Combined to Foster Fluent Bilingualism in Spanish- and English-Speaking Children by Sharon Adelman Reyes, James Crawford
Dual immersion, a popular new way to foster bilingualism, is capturing the attention of parents and educators alike. By bringing together children from diverse backgrounds to learn each other's languages in a natural setting, it has proved far more effective at cultivating fluency than traditional approaches. But how do these programs actually work? What goes on in dual immersion classrooms? And what is it that makes them so effective? Diary of a Bilingual School answers these questions with a unique mix of narratives and analysis. Depicting a year in the life of a second-grade classroom, it demonstrates what can happen when the instruction is bilingual and the curriculum is constructivist. The book focuses on Chicago's Inter-American Magnet School, one of the nation's most acclaimed dual immersion programs, where children thrive in an environment that unlocks their intellectual curiosity and enthusiasm for learning. Simultaneously, without conscious effort, they become proficient in two languages and at home in a culture that differs from their own. For those who want to discover the benefits of dual immersion for their children or for their students -- or who want to learn more about child-centered approaches to teaching -- Diary of a Bilingual School is a must.