MONROE, Mich. - Immersed in the French language as a Dartmouth College student, teacher Kevin Smith now uses the immersion strategy with middle school students in Monroe, according to The Monroe Evening News.

Smith, former chair of the French department at a private school in Vermont, uses little English in his French language classes at Meadow Montessori, The News reported.

"We begin speaking in French and Spanish to our youngest students, those from 18 months to kindergarten age," he told The News. Smith was trained at Dartmouth in the Rassias Method of foreign language instruction, which emphasizes helping students feel comfortable speaking the target language daily, even if mistakes are made, he told The News.

Smith recently surprised his students with mock copies of the Monroe newspaper printed in French.

"The kids love speaking (a foreign language)," Smith told The News. "Just about every student I've worked with has wanted to be able to talk to more people. They want to meet and greet the rest of the world."

SOURCE:
The Monroe Evening News, "No English allowed," Jan. 22, 2009

FURTHER READING:
Michigan Education Digest, "Muskegon schools develop Spanish immersion project," March 25, 2008

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