CULVER CITY CELEBRATES 40 YEARS OF LANGUAGE IMMERSION
The first public school district in the United States to offer a language immersion program celebrates 40 year anniversary with symposium and festivities May 13-15 2011
WHO WE ARE:
Culver City, home to the first language immersion program in a U.S. public school district, will commemorate its 40th anniversary of language immersion with a three day celebration May 13 – 15 th, 2011. The celebration will honor 40 years of the district’s Spanish immersion program, and 20 years of its Japanese immersion program. The special events will include a language immersion symposium, children’s day celebration, and alumni reunion. The event is sponsored by the Advocates for Language Learning El Marino (ALLEM).
ABOUT THE CULVER CITY LANGUAGE IMMERSION PROGRAM:
The Culver City Unified School District is a “Language Immersion District.” El Marino Language School is a K-5 elementary school in the school district which is solely dedicated to immersion in Spanish or Japanese. La Ballona Elementary School offers a Spanish immersion program as well as traditional English only education. The District also offers immersion programs at its Middle School and High School levels. The Culver City immersion program began in 1971. El Marino became a dedicated immersion school in 1994.
WHAT IS LANGUAGE IMMERSION?
Language Immersion is a method of teaching a second language in which the target language (in this case Spanish and Japanese) is used for instruction. Students are “immersed” and taught core subjects like math, history, and social studies, in the target language, as if they are learning in English. The goal of immersion, especially at the elementary level, is that the students emerge being able to communicate in more than one language. Experts indicate that other benefits of being bilingual and bi-literate include a positive effect on intellectual growth, enhanced mental development, and an appreciation for cultures other than the child's own.
40th ANNIVERSARY WEEKEND DETAILS
Friday May 13 - Symposium: Looking Back, Leading the Way
The 40th Anniversary Celebration of Language Immersion in Culver City begins on Friday May 13 th with a language immersion symposium, “Looking Back, Leading the Way.” The afternoon symposium will feature panel discussions with language immersion experts and special guests. Yong Zhao, Presidential Chair and Associate Dean for Global Education, College of Education at the University of Oregon, will deliver the evening keynote address. Congresswoman Judy Chu of California’s 32 nd district is also invited to speak. Open to the public, advance registration ticket prices are $35 for the symposium and keynote address, $30 for the symposium only, and $10 for the keynote address only. Door prices are $40 for the symposium and keynote, $35 for the symposium only , and $12 for the keynote only.
Saturday, May 14th - Children's Day Celebration
El Marino Language School will host a celebration of Spanish and Japanese culture at their annual Children’s Day event. The event will feature Japanese and Spanish cuisine, dance and songs. Children’s Event takes place at 11450 Port Road, Culver City. Admission is free. Details and event times are to be announced.
Sunday, May 15th - Culver City Immersion Program Celebration and Alumni Reunion
The anniversary celebration will conclude on with a Culver City immersion program alumni reunion, reuniting alumni from 1971 to 2010. Alumni and their families, current program participants, as well as anyone interested in learning about the experience of an immersion education and its positive impact are encouraged to attend. Reunion events include a retrospective of the school’s programs, arts and crafts booths, and a bronze plaque re-dedication of the sculpture Language Opens the World to Us, designed by Carol Bardin and her father Milton Michaelson. The sculpture, originally dedicated in 1986, stands on the grounds of El Marino Language School. The alumni reunion will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the El Marino Language School. Admission is $5. Attendees can bring their own picnic lunches, or they can purchase ethnic food sponsored by La Ballona Elementary.
ABOUT THE EVENT'S SPONSORS
Advocates for Language Learning El Marino (ALLEM) is a nonprofit group run by
El Marino Language School parent-volunteers. ALLEM raises funds to hire target language teacher’s aides for every classroom at the elementary school. The teachers’ aides, called “adjuncts,” are native Spanish or Japanese speakers who assist teachers so that students receive more individualized attention. ALLEM also sponsors Spanish and Japanese cultural classes, such as flamenco and Taiko drumming.