FAQs: ISB Summer Language Immersion

Is ISB Summer Language Immersion open to students who do not attend ISB?
Yes! Our summer Language Immersion program is open to all students who are entering Pre-K 4 through 3rd Grade. Please note that rising Pre-K 4 students must be 4 years old by September 1.

My child does not speak any French or Spanish. Will s/he feel comfortable participating in the daily activities? How much progress will s/he make in the language?
We welcome children from all language backgrounds in our Language Immersion program, ranging from those who may speak the language at home to those who are being exposed to the language for the first time. Our aim is to have kids so engaged in various activities (cooking, singing, movement, arts, etc.) that they don’t realize they’re gaining familiarity with a new language. Repetition, paraphrasing, songs, and group routines are used to build children’s comfort, comprehension, and motivation in the target language. Our counselors work to provide a full immersion experience during the program, though there are circumstances which will warrant English being spoken, to ensure that all participants understand the message (for example, for issues regarding safety or social emotional concerns). We want children to feel comfortable and cared for, so our counselors will also make sure children who do not have the language background know that they are understood even if they don’t speak the target language. The amount of language progress made over the course of the program varies from student to student. In the past, those with no prior language exposure have made gains in their comprehension and expression, using simple phrases with teachers and peers and comfortably participating in classroom activities and routines.

My child speaks some French or Spanish, but is not fluent. Will that be a problem?
Not at all! Our program is open to children of all language backgrounds. We aim to have kids so engaged in various activities (cooking, singing, movement, arts, etc.) that they don’t realize they’re building language skills. Our teachers design activities and experiences around the weekly theme, in order to systematically expose children to new vocabulary and to foster real-world use of the target language. For children who already have some exposure to the language, we find that meeting new French- or Spanish-speaking peers and teachers can be a great motivator to put their language to use.

My child will enter Pre-K 4 in the fall but does not meet the September 1st cutoff date. Can I still register?
We follow our cutoff date fairly strictly. If your child does not meet the September 1st cutoff date for rising Pre-K 4 students, please contact the ISB Summer Team (summer@isbrooklyn.org, 718-369-3023 x 490) to discuss your specific situation.

Are the counselors teachers from ISB?
Our summer staff is composed of both ISB teachers and seasonal staff, many of whom work in other schools or with other educational organizations during the year. All staff have deep backgrounds with the language they work in and are passionate about language immersion.

What do the children do during Extended Fun from 3:00-6:00pm?
The afternoon portion of our program usually begins with a read-aloud and a snack. After that, children engage in free play and loosely structured activities such as crafts or games. Extended Fun happens primarily in English, as it draws from both the French and Spanish programs. In addition to regular Extended Fun, we offer soccer classes in French and Spanish once a week through our partner Super Soccer Stars.

How big are the groups at ISB Summer?
We generally limit our groups to approximately 15 students with 2 instructors.

Do the children go on field trips?
We make use of our neighborhood with small trips such as visiting the grocery store to purchase ingredients or visiting a local business. Our focus is on creating authentic contexts for linguistic exploration, whether on ISB grounds or in surrounding areas. We do not generally send students on longer field trips during the summer, though if one is planned, parents will be notified well in advance.

Have more questions? Please contact the ISB Summer Team at summer@isbrooklyn.org or 718-369-3023 x 490.