State Legislature Adopts Resolution supporting Colorado World Language Education Summit
The Colorado Legislature recently approved a resolution endorsing a summit meeting Spring 2013 to develop a “roadmap” for increasing world language instruction in schools and universities throughout the state.
The resolution cited the increasing need for multi-lingual skills and research that identified immersion instruction as a highly effective method for students to gain multiple language skills. Unlike taking a single language course, the immersion model offers instruction in all subject areas using the new language thus enabling the student to gain new language skills and content at the same time.
The resolution was sponsored by State Senator Suzanne Williams and State Representative Nancy Todd and was initiated by the governing board of Global Village Academies (www.globalvillageacademy.org), the state’s largest immersion schools, The academies are K-8 public charter schools with campuses in Aurora and Northglenn and have been very popular, growing from 240 students to more than 1,200 students in the past five years. Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, French are used for content instruction at the Aurora campus and Mandarin, Spanish and Russian platforms are offered at the Northglenn campus.
“When I interviewed this school, I asked a lot of questions,” stated Senator Williams, “I was eager to learn that students that come from these immersion schools perform at or better than the state average on the CSAP test.”
“Several states have adopted similar programs to place a new emphasis on the importance of having a workforce with multi-lingual skills,” said Christina Burton, CEO of the Global Village group. “Students most effectively acquire language skills at a very young age and we’ve been able to demonstrate this with our programs that offer core instruction in Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, French, and Russian. And these students are gaining content knowledge as they gain new language skills.”
Prior to voting on the resolution, the Colorado Senate recognized a visiting Chinese contingent from the Beijing Foreign Language School and the proposed Shunde, China Foreign Language School. The Chinese group has been meeting with Global Village officials to discuss a formal partnership with Global Village providing English teachers for an immersion program in China.
The world language summit is planned to be held at Denver University Spring 2013 and will include major stakeholders from the state including business leaders, University and K-12 educators, and legislators.
For more information about The Global Village immersion program, please visit www.globalvillageacademy.org.