Janet Harriman Bierbaum: Skeptical of dual-language program | SummitDaily.com

Janet Harriman Bierbaum: Skeptical of dual-language program

Janet Harriman Bierbaum
Key West Farms

After reading the article “DVE dual language program in high demand,” many red flags popped into my head. Should it be schools’ priorities to have kids speak Spanish and English by fifth grade? Which guidelines in the dual language program is Dillon Valley following? They started this program five years ago and now they want to keep these kids together when they go to middle school and high school? Why?

“Problem solving,” “creative thinking” and “caring learners” were used in this article to convey what dual language has to offer. My daughters attend an elementary school that does not partake in the dual language program and they learn all of these skills through math, science, reading, writing, social studies, music, art, gym and, of course, recess.

If parents want their child to be fluent in another language, which means not just speaking but also reading and writing, then hire a tutor to teach them. It is much more important to me to hear my kids play and perform music from the baroque, classical, romantic and contemporary genres than it is to hear them speak in Spanish. Because music is an important language to me, I supplement their music education by paying for private lessons. The arts, both performing and visual, are a universal language which teaches creative thinking, problem solving and caring learners. In addition it has opened my kids’ awareness to cultures all over the world. Bach (German), Debussy (French) Bartok (Hungarian). I do not use Spanish in my profession, nor do we speak it at our home. My kids hear music from many cultures on a daily basis at my house. This is the universal language. Musical notes do not need to be translated.

Why should the school district choose to spend my tax dollars on a language my family does not use? German is the foreign language preferred in our house and, of course, music.

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