I read the Dec. 12 letter from DiAnne Johnson, Span-ish teacher at Evans Elemen-tary, and felt I had to respond. Please know that the person reportedly from Stevens Creek who said that if we had to do what her school does that wed do nothing, does not speak for any of the parents I know at Stevens Creek. We are grateful for any and all of the quality teaching our children receive.
Up until this year, all our Spanish teachers had to pack up all their supplies and go to the schoolrooms to teach. Many still do. I am immensely impressed that these dedicated teachers go through more bother and hassle than usual to bring foreign language to those who can learn it best: our elementary children. Perhaps that is what the Stevens Creek parent meant: if she or he had to go through what Johnson does daily, she or he wouldnt do it. It takes a special and dedicated teacher to teach 500 students a week in 25 different classrooms.
It is worth it. Test scores show that children with foreign language exposure do better in core curriculum subjects. I know from my own meager experience that I didnt understand how English was put together until I discovered another language. It also opened my eyes to other cultures and other ways of viewing my own culture. I became more interested in the world around me so I read more and learned more. Im sure my test scores in social studies and science and even math improved. Flexibility to new concepts benefit every area of learning.
My child is graduating from Stevens Creek this year. Even though she personally will not be affected by a lack of elementary foreign language instruction in the future, I passionately support its continuation. I wish all elementary children in the county could be exposed to a foreign language. If that is not possible, dont take it away from those who can. Were supposed to be continually improving our school system. This would be a huge step back.
I salute Johnson and her fellow dedicated teachers. They are truly making a difference. Please allow them to continue to do so.
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