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St. Cloud Immersion Programs Are A Growing Success [AUDIO]

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St. Cloud — For some students, learning a second language is a preparation for college. However, two language immersion programs at Madison and Clearview elementary schools are designed for a different reason. The Chinese and Spanish learning programs began in 2007 as a kindergarten through 5th grade curriculum.

School records show 32 students took part in the initial program. By the beginning of the second year, that number jumped to 105. Student enrollment has increased each year, with 397 students currently taking classes.

The original group of kindergartener’s are now in 5th grade and school officials are looking to continue into middle and high schools. Clearview Spanish Teacher Marita Vievering says the curriculum will look different when the kids move up.

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Speaking a foreign language at an early age can be cause for concern to parents looking to help out. Paul Jeddeloh has two children in the Chinese program at Madison. He says parents are impressed with the implementation of the curriculum.

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Students at Clearview begin learning the new language on their first day of kindergarten. By second grade, every class is taught entirely in Spanish. Vievering says kids learn quickly at a young age.

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The curriculum was put into place as a way to attract new students to the school district. Jeddeloh says his 20 minute drive is not an issue because he is seeing great results with his kids.

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The Chinese and Spanish programs are looking to enroll new students to their kindergarten classes for the fall school year.

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