From Lima city to Beijing, Bilbao to Bengaluru, parents like you are aware of the outstanding significance of an American education. A fast-growing number of families in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, South America, Central America, and the Caribbean have chosen to relocate in U.S.A. This decision has also integrated their children of varied ages into the American education system. An educational system that presents powerful benefits for children’s growth and academic development. The following benefits are the most common ones:
- Provides advantage in university admissions. American universities are recognized for their teaching excellence, innovative research, and brilliant future promises.
- Acquire English language acquisition, a complete language immersion. English is not only the academic language, but also used for business, politics, science, and culture. The skill to speak another language will make your child competitive in this global world.
- Get familiar with the American culture and other cultures. Your child has a total exposure to diversity. He or she will need to learn to handle different settings and customs. This understanding for diverse perspectives, cultures, and traditions will grant a world-mindset.
- Experience a new way of teaching curriculum. Newcomer students learn different style of assignments, classroom discussions, and teacher’s expectations. They experience an emphasis on the individual besides test grades. Students incorporate extracurricular and community service. They have more freedom to select specific course subjects having access to best teaching and learning practices.
- Learn lifetime skills and values. Independence, self-advocacy, confidence, and overcoming challenges give newcomers the key to reach their complete potential.
If you see yourself in this scenario, there are critical features you should examine to guide your child adequately for this new journey. An exciting journey that takes time to assimilate a new language and culture. A journey path that might be challenging and complex for so many newcomer students in American schools. The more support your child gets, the better results he or she will obtain, to experience benefits of the American education system accessible to anyone.
Studies show that the majority of international – immigrant students show frustration and high levels of anxiety because their language challenges affected their learning. High levels of frustration and anxiety leads to increased dropout rates or low scores among these students who failed in academic performance. As a matter of fact, in some school settings the use of a student’s native language is not possible during instruction and parent-teacher conferences. These international students and parents share the same frustration and need to assimilate the English language process that does not occur immediately. A main factor is in understanding the length of time second language learners [children and parents] normally take to learn a foreign language. To illustrate, students would need from 6 months to 2 years to acquire BICS (Social Language). A second language learner would take 3 to 7 years to assimilate CALP
(Academic Language) during the second language learning process.
International Parent’s Mindset
A key question for parents is to know the exact English language level of their children entering American schools. The assimilation and language process are not magical, they both require dedication and access to a well – designed English language program. Integrated content and language instruction in listening, speaking, reading, and writing let students develop the ability to generate spoken and written language about concepts in subject-area classes. For instance, students can perform lab experiments and mathematics calculations and learn about history, all while using appropriate academic language.
The direct instruction delivery in a typical American classroom is mainly in the official English language. A strong language demand is placed on all students in subject‑area classes. Students in some content classes are required to read and assimilate advanced texts, and to make connections in writing. Taking into consideration these highlights, international parents should pay attention to their child’s individual needs towards getting success in American schools. It is clear the international -immigrant student must reach three goals progressively: (a) use of English to communicate in social settings, (b) use of English to achieve academically in all subject-areas, and (c) use of English in socially and culturally appropriate ways. Parent’s involvement is essential in this journey. It means teamwork that brings growth enhancing the American community! The goal is to train students to be independent learners and take control of their own thinking and understanding in their academic life, American new life.