I have the worst headache right now, my jaw is clenched tight and I can feel my blood pressure rising. I just got an email letting me know that Calcasieu Parish is proposing another round of Budget Cuts and that the FRENCH/SPANISH IMMERSION program will be one of them. Oldest and Youngest have both been in the program since kindergarten and have excelled in learning a second language....now our School Board wants to cut this program. A program that is proven to raise standardized test scores...not to mention that bilingual children are more willing and able to learn a third language, or perform better in math and logic skills than children with just one language, that learning a second language helps children build self-esteem, creativity, problem-solving skills, and math ability or that being taught in two languages gives children a head start in competition for universities and jobs.
Studies have also shown that those that are fluent in two languages rather than just one were sharper mentally. Thanks to technological advances in brain imaging, scientist have recently discovered that the processing of different languages occurs in much of the same brain tissue. However, when bilinguals are rapidly toggling back and forth between their two languages-that is, in "bilingual mode"-they show significantly more activity in the right hemisphere than monolingual speakers, particularly in the frontal area called the dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex(the source of the bilingual advantages in attention and control). This expanded neural activity is so prominent and predictable on brain scans it serves as a "neurological signature" for bilingualism. Finally, neuroscience research is showing promise for evaluating and treating bilingual patients who lose the ability to produce or understand speech after a brain injury. Research is showing that rehabilitation efforts that use BOTH languages, not just ONE-even a patients native language-HOLD THE GREATEST PROMISE FOR RECOVERY
Youngest has been seeing a Neurologist since May 2009, she was diagnosed with Chiari Malformation Type I and a Seizure Disorder. When Dr. Sconzert found out that Youngest was in the French Immersion program he was so excited and explained to Youngest that learning another language and being Bilingual strengthens the brain...that learning another language is like "Food for the brain and makes it very strong!!!" He told Youngest that if she ever feels like quiting the French Immersion program that she needs to remember that....Youngest had been sleeping in our room since she had her first seizure, when Dr. Sconzert told her how "Strong" her brain is...she started to sleep in her room again and hasn't looked back.
HELLO CALCASIEU PARISH SCHOOL BOARD....Have you done any research of the benefits of having two languages? Is it really worth a few dollars? I can think of a few other area's that you can cut...call me.