Is Language Immersion a Good Thought?

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Is it a good suggestion to place your little one in a college the place he doesn’t know the first language spoken? In different phrases, is Language Immersion a good suggestion for early learners? How will this influence your little one? Will they actually be taught the language nicely? Will they be capable of regulate to the college surroundings or will it backfire?

I typically hear dad and mom saying that they selected to place their little one in an Arabic College or a Spanish college as a result of they wished their little one to be taught the language from the beginning. They wished their little one to talk the language just like the “native audio system”, they are saying. If they’re immersed within the language, they may be taught from the beginning. Is {that a} proper factor to do?

What’s Language Immersion

Language Immersion means to immerse your self (or your little one) in a surroundings the place just one language (often the one you don’t communicate in any respect and wish to be taught) is spoken. The entire surroundings is focussed on studying that language.

Among the methods in which you’ll be able to immerse your little one in studying a brand new language is to place them in a college the place the medium of instruction is in that language. You may also select to dwell in or journey to a rustic the place that language is spoken and attempt to solely be immersed in that tradition.

The quickest strategy to train your little one to be taught a brand new language (particularly if you’re a very long time expat or migrant) is to place them in a college the place they’ll have buddies, academics and the college surroundings focussed on that language solely.

Is Language Immersion Faculties a good suggestion for youngsters?

As a mom of three multilingual kids, I completely relate with the concept of Language Immersion. Placing your kids in a public college the place the language you wish to give attention to is the medium of instruction is an excellent concept.

The kids be taught the language as a result of that’s all that’s spoken. It’s type of like a “swim or drown” type of a state of affairs and principally, as a result of youngsters decide up language quicker at a small age, they adapt rapidly. However Language Immersion has it’s personal professionals and cons.

Our Expertise with Language Immersion

We’re a multilingual household. My husband and I communicate six languages and my three kids communicate 4-5 every. That’s English, Arabic, Hindi, Urdu and French. I share my journey and tips to raising multilingual children here. You may also learn additional particulars in my interview here.

My husband and I – we each grew up right here in Saudi Arabia. Though, I’ve lived right here all my life, I nonetheless don’t take into account myself a fluent Arabic speaker. I’ve a number of Arabic talking buddies (who communicate english with me!) and I do know a number of Saudi Tradition however… we’re not an Arabic talking household.

My kids communicate 4-5 languages every. My kids have been in a Arabic Medium College in addition to Personal and Worldwide Faculties. We’ve got additionally homeschooled two youngsters for 3 years throughout the pandemic.

I began my eldest (son) in an Arabic medium college in Kindergarten and for 2 years, he was in full Arabic surroundings. We later shifted him to an Worldwide (Multicultural – Multilingual) College the place Arabic talking college students and academics had been in majority. He studied in that surroundings for 9 years.

My daughters began on the Worldwide (Multicultural – Multilingual) College however we later shifted to homeschooling after which a Neighborhood College.

It’s essential to have an training objective in your kids

Our objective with our kids’s training is that they need to be fluent in Arabic first. We don’t need them going through the identical issues we face – the language barrier. Additionally, Arabic is the language of the Quran. After all, Quranic Arabic and Fashionable Arabic is totally different however it’s nonetheless Arabic. You possibly can perceive what you’re studying within the Quran fairly nicely for those who perceive any Arabic.

I additionally wished that my kids to develop up in a multicultural surroundings. It is very important me that they settle for range of language, tradition, faith and appears naturally rising up. And I wished my kids to be surrounded with all varieties of folks and be capable of make buddies and converse with everybody.

After which, like each mom, I wished to present my kids world-class training. I need them to develop the talents that’s wanted to thrive within the trendy future tomorrow. Abilities like communication, accountable know-how use, curiosity, inquisitiveness in addition to management abilities and the flexibility to work along with others is essential to me as is appreciation of artwork and tradition.

Learn the pros and cons of enrolling your child in an Immersion School  Blogpost on JeddahMom

The best way to discover a good college for Language Immersion

We began our school hunting for the children years ago, and the perfect factor that we did was to go round faculties chatting with them and searching round.

We knew that we needed to be clear about what we wished within the college. However we had been additionally on the lookout for an surroundings that may assist the kid comfortably be taught and develop with out it feeling like we had been forcing the language and tradition upon him.

There have been two issues that I did that basically helped me find a very good college for my kids:

  1. Visiting the college, taking a look at their curriculum and books, and speaking to the academics and employees.
  2. Asking for evaluations from dad and mom who already had youngsters at that faculty.

Now, this was years in the past and we didn’t have WhatsApp Teams then, so I needed to depend on phrase of mouth and meet up with dad and mom and particularly ask them.

For Language Immersion, many dad and mom really feel that the college ought to solely train one language and nothing else for it to achieve success. My expertise has been that it’s good concept if the academics and college students can communicate a standard language with you too. For instance, if there are few youngsters and academics who can converse in English a bit bit, will probably be a really useful for each you and your little one to be taught within the surroundings.

My kids thrived extra at an Worldwide college which had give attention to Arabic and Islamic Research. They’d three topics in Arabic. The academics within the Arabic lessons spoke solely in Arabic. The kids had been Arabic talking majority too.

For data on faculties in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, please see this post.

What to search for in a college for instructing a language?

For my part, whether or not you’re a migrant, expat or only a multilingual household seeking to immerse your little one in a language, you’ll nonetheless need your little one to excel at different topics and presumably, sooner or later have his choices open to review wherever world wide. So placing your little one in a college the place they don’t train any quantity of English or the place English is only a language topic could also be a foul concept.

And oldsters who wish to make the change to an English college after 4-5 years: no, even in 4-5 years your youngsters gained’t be as fluent in Arabic as a local due to exterior elements akin to your house language and any publicity to further languages. Additionally, transferring them from a totally Arabic to a totally English surroundings is perhaps detrimental too. They are going to be common at all the pieces. And will probably be a wrestle to get them to undertake a brand new medium of instruction from the start.

Let me provide you with an instance: After they have been accustomed to Science and Math in Arabic, studying all of the phrases in English and rewiring their mind to new phrases and knowledge whereas they’re attempting to be the identical stage as their friends shouldn’t be going to be simple.

Should you send your child to an Arabic only school Blogpost on JeddahMom

Challenges dad and mom and youngsters face at Language Immersion college

I’m not a local Arabic speaker. The truth is, I believe I acquired an opportunity to immerse myself within the language greater than my youngsters.

Supporting your little one

One of many largest challenges dad and mom face is that for those who don’t communicate that language, you’ll have bother instructing your little one. Regardless of how good your college is, we dad and mom all the time must assist our kids’s studying at house.

Now, it will be a studying alternative for you too however there could also be instances when you’ll have bother your self. Like when they’re speaking in regards to the Photo voltaic System, climate cycles and mathematical ideas of their language or asking you to present your ideas a couple of matter! ::Ouch::

After all you possibly can Google Translate and encompass your self with individuals who can assist you in translating, however many instances you may be challenged. (Particularly on the finish of the day, when it’s previous bedtime and also you forgot to see that round or your little one involves you with homework!)

Smarter or Dumb?

Additionally, in case your college doesn’t produce other multicultural kids, your little one might find yourself being the “Unicorn”. They would be the odd one out.

They could be a special tradition from the opposite college students and in addition, most likely roughly mature than the opposite kids their age. So the academics are going to inform you that your child is “distinctive”, “smarter”, “oh-so-intelligent” or they may name your little one “gradual”, “studying challenged”, “not cooperative”, “shy and quiet”. And it may be an issue in two instructions. We had this downside.

When my son was in KG2 though he was the identical age as different kids, I discovered that at college, they had been fairly behind curriculum-wise. My son wasn’t studying a lot. He was simply going there to whereas away time, chitchat with the academics and “develop into their pet”.

Okay, so could also be, he was smarter for his age. Could also be, fairly presumably, he was a quick learner and the college surroundings wasn’t difficult sufficient. So we modified faculties and put him in a Personal Worldwide College the place the vast majority of the scholars had been locals they usually focussed on Arabic and Islamic training.

It was a college with fusion curriculums – IGCSE, American and Saudi Board. The medium of instruction was English they usually had three topics in Arabic – Arabic, Social Research in Arabic and Islamic Research in Arabic. Math, Science and different topics had been all Pearson Books they usually additionally had a 3rd language — French.

Our expertise with a non-public Worldwide college was significantly better than with the personal Arabic college. My son might make buddies, communicate to them in each English and Arabic and nonetheless be taught the language each formally and naturally.

Native Dialect

The difficulty with immersing your little one in a language is that they may be taught the native dialect quicker than the formal language. It’s pure for them to be taught this manner as a result of they are going to be conversing with their buddies within the native dialect extra.

Additionally, relying on the scholars who examine at that faculty, it’s fairly doable they may be taught a completely totally different dialect than that you just supposed. My son, for instance was studying the Levantine Arabic greater than the Saudi one within the Arabic College. Within the Worldwide College, it was Saudi dialect.

Mates and Bullies

Then there may be the query of friendships. Kindergarten kids wish to play aspect by aspect greater than WITH the opposite kids. So it’s possible you’ll not discover that a lot of an issue with them making buddies. However in major class kids, the place friendships are extra essential and youngsters’s confidence is constructed round attempting to slot in, one can find that your little one’s lack of ability to converse or his being a special tradition might or will not be hinder his potential to make buddies.

So, bullying, mean-girls, football-politics, silent remedies, and many others occur extra in major and higher grades. However that may occur in any college regardless of whether or not you immerse or not. (That’s my expertise.)

So, there are particular advantages to Language Immersion.

Do children in Language Immersion learn the language really fast  Blogpost article  on JeddahMom

Do kids in Language Immersion be taught the language actually quick?

Sure. My son is 16 years previous now. He speaks fluent Arabic, can perceive and translate the Quran whereas it’s being learn and he converses within the language just like the native.

My two daughters began in the identical multicultural Worldwide college from the start. I didn’t put them in Language Immersion from the start as a result of I used to be proud of the Multicultural college surroundings my son was at.

However throughout the pandemic I pulled them out from the Worldwide college for Open Education/ Homeschooling and we didn’t ship them again to the Arab Worldwide college. They communicate Arabic and perceive the Quran nicely too, however not in addition to my son.

My daughters spent 2-3 years in Kindergarten after which 2-3 years in major college, studying with Arab academics and being round Arabic talking buddies,. They did decide up the language, accent and studying abilities. However they weren’t as quick as my son who had spent the primary two years of his education in a completely Arabic surroundings.

The women had Arab buddies they usually spoke in Arabic with them too. My son nevertheless spent 10 years in that surroundings whereas my ladies spent solely 5 years. So, could also be if that they had spent some extra time, they’d have develop into extra fluent. I don’t know…

What my expertise with Language Immersion taught me

I completely assist the concept of Language Immersion. I’ve talked about all the professionals and cons thus far above on this put up however there are particular issues that no person talks about that I wish to share with you.


Once you put your little one in a college and language that could be very totally different from your individual tradition and language, be prepared to just accept that your kids will be taught extra of the opposite tradition than your individual. Now, that may be a very good factor or a foul factor.

Once you put your kids in Language Immersion and select to ship your kids in a college the place the tradition and language are each not their native, youngsters have an id disaster. They are going to start to sound like their buddies fairly quick however then they may to wish to look and sound like “them” too. They are going to take pleasure in dressing like them, utilizing the phrases they use, their physique language might be like them… briefly, you may be elevating a Fusion Child.

We dad and mom should try more durable to show our children our manners, non secular and cultural methods. After all, whether or not you select to boost your little one in your nation or in one other, and whether or not you select to teach them in a special language or English, this downside will nonetheless be there – roughly – however in my expertise, language immersion can have extra influence in your little one’s id.

In a approach, it’s a parenting problem… so you’ll want to perceive that getting in. Be prepared to just accept that your little one might be totally different from you.


It’s not simply how they appear and behave however their considering might be impacted too.

  • They are going to perceive their college’s tradition higher than yours.
  • They are going to relate with their buddies and the host nation greater than their very own.
  • They are going to communicate strongly on points which are being talked about of their circles and sometimes will probably be points you don’t care or relate with.

This can be a technology factor… and I’m certain our dad and mom might have felt this manner elevating us too however it’s one thing that I’ve had an opportunity to note as a result of I’ve raised youngsters in two several types of college surroundings.

When my youngsters had been on the Arabic College, that they had an Arabic accent to their English and Urdu (our mom tongue) and it was all fancy-shmancy Arabic Netfilx drama. (If you recognize you recognize ).

However now that they’re at a group college, the place they’ve buddies who’re like them, they perceive our household and nation’s cultures higher. I don’t have to elucidate issues as a lot as earlier than as a result of they most likely already learnt that at their college.

Manners, conduct, etiquettes, household values… come simpler to kids who’ve folks like them round them.


I didn’t suppose that my youngsters had bother discovering good buddies at their earlier faculties. The truth is, they didn’t realize it both till they moved to a group college and noticed how simpler it was to speak to individuals who regarded, talked and behaved like themselves.

They felt nearer to their academics who reminded them of their dad and mom, aunts or grandparents. Their manners and physique language was simpler to grasp. Have you learnt what I imply..?


Language Immersion is likely one of the finest methods for anybody to be taught a brand new language quick, however for youths, we dad and mom want to consider much more than simply language.

We’ve got to do not forget that once we select to place our little one in a college for the primary time, it will be the muse you’re setting, upon which they may expertise a relationship to life lengthy studying.

I hope this text helps you in choosing the proper college in your little one and in beginning your little one’s journey to loving a language. Do depart a remark and inform me your ideas.

Hey, wish to keep in contact?

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