This proposal is not very well thought out. It takes exceptional students to succeed in this kind of program. Their success is torpedoed by all sorts of external factors, the main one being, what language is spoken at home? This is important because while the school may attempt a 50/50 split, the student actually experiences 50/50 for the 6 hours in school + 100/0 for the rest of the day. That does NOT result in “immersion,” but a disorienting distraction. Besides, where will you get large numbers of teachers equally at home in both languages in the same subject matter?
I consider myself a beneficiary of the multi-language education I received in elementary and high school (in two different countries in Europe, then in two different States of the US). I am in favor, as long as they give me a choice — English, French, German, Russian, Chinese, Polish, Hungarian, Japanese,…. But we DO know they have none of THAT in mind; they’ll go by the language preference of the majority of kids, and that’s not even going to be English. I tried this experiment with my own two kids in San Francisco. It does not work for the majority of the kids; one or the other language inevitably gets a short shrift. It takes an exceptional teacher to be proficient and an exceptional student to become proficient in the same subject matter in both languages.
I oppose AB139 promoting dual language immersion in a public elementary school. English is the language of the United States. Those who immigrate to the United States should learn English period. They should assimilate to the ways and ideals of the United States. They should learn about American history, the Constitution and why our Republic is the greatest on earth.
100% immersion [in one language] works 100% of the time. Why would we hobble our students from learning English, the language of our country, to the best of their ability? If we want our students to succeed in business and in the workplace, learning good English is key. Everywhere immersion has been tried, it has succeeded. It might be difficult at first, but young minds pick up language very fast and excel.