Regarding the Oct. 13 news article “ Wake magnets debated”: As someone who taught foreign language for many years, I am always pleased to hear about programs that promote the learning of foreign languages, especially among young people.
However, I do have a question regarding the Spanish and Mandarin immersion programs in the Wake Country Public School System: What percentage of students entering these programs had no previous knowledge of these languages and/or speak these as their primary language? In other words: Are these programs intended to teach Spanish and Mandarin to children whose native language is English? Or are they “immersion” programs to teach ESL children math, science, history in their native (non-English) language?
While I fully support programs intended to teach children a second language, it is deceptive and dishonest to call something a “language immersion program” if the majority of students in it already speak that language.
Kathryn Sorensen, Chapel Hill