New York Family Magazine editor Eric Messinger turns to Bilingual Buds Founder Sharon Huang to offer insight about learning in two languages.
In my anecdotal experience, learning a second (or third) language is a hot topic among parents considering what kinds of enrichment classes to steer their young children to—not to mention what school over all to send them to. A new high-profile private school, Avenues, kind of threw the gauntlet down by making bilingual immersion a key selling point in how their educational program will be distinguish itself from other private schools.
As reported in the New York Times, Avenues’ founders say that when the school opens in September of 2012 the students will learn bilingually, in classrooms where half of the instruction will be in Spanish or Mandarin, the other half in English, from nursery school through fourth grade. “Schools need to do a better job preparing children for international lives,” Avenue founder, Chris Whittle, was quoted as saying.
To give parents a better sense of the benefits and the challenges of an immersive approach to language learning, I interviewed Sharon Huang, who opened the city’s first Mandarin immersion preschool, Bilingual Buds, on the Upper West Side, in 2010 after starting similar schools in New Jersey.
To read Eric Messinger's interview, click here.