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Speaking in Tongues (2009)

 |  Documentary  |  April 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 18 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 2 critic

Four students become fluent in second languages while attending public school, with challenging and delightful results.

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While having a diverse ethnic mix of peoples within its borders, institutions in the United States in general strive for a mono-linguistic culture, namely English. However, what is increasingly being offered is language immersion programs in public schools, where everything is conducted in that language, except for the separate English class taught in English. These programs are not only populated by students of that ethnic background, but of other ethnicities as well. Durrell, a black child, is starting in Mandarin immersion. Ethnic Anglo Julian has been in Chinese (both Cantonese and Mandarin) immersion for nine years. Hispanic Jason, whose parents don't speak English, is in Spanish immersion. And Chinese Kelly, whose parents don't speak Cantonese, is in Cantonese immersion. Parents are choosing to send their children to language immersion programs so that they may be provided greater opportunities in their future. Some parents, however, fear that English will be compromised in the ... Written by Huggo

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four kids, four languages, one city, one world





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April 2009 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

Accessible, entertaining and informative documentary
12 January 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The key to this film's accessibility is the manner the film makers allow the material speak for itself. The stories offer a satisfying connection with each of the featured individual students while they (the stories) intrinsically nudge the viewer toward consideration of the larger questions presented. The way these stories unfold left me not only better informed, but eager to delve even further into the subject. I enjoyed watching this documentary that not only delivers information it is easy to care about and connects us with the lives featured in the film, but also succeeds in leaving the viewer firmly connected with the continuing story happening in schools everywhere.

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