Getting into bilingual immersion programs can be tough. (Photo by

SpanglishBaby: On the losing end of the dual language immersion lottery

There are two public dual language immersion elementary schools in my county, and there’s one school that offers everyday foreign language lessons, though it’s not an immersive setting. We applied for two of the three total options for next school year, when my son starts kindergarten, and just received word that he was not selected for either.

We could choose to stay on the waiting list and wait for several months to have an official answer about that, but that doesn’t make it too easy to plan where we will send my stepdaughters to school (they are also at the mercy of magnet program decisions and the location of their siblings’ schools).

Of late, I have admitted to feeling that I’m slacking in the bilingual parenting arena because my son gets most of his Spanish input at his father’s house. I was hoping to at least be able to provide more support for his bilingualism by sending him to a school that emphasizes its importance, but it looks like he will have the standard school experience, at least for now.

Honestly, I’m perfectly fine with that, and even a little relieved. The more I step back from my attachment to my son, I see him as a boy that will grow into a capable man who, like all other adults, will ultimately choose if or how he wants Spanish to factor into his life.

There is not necessarily a cause-effect relationship between going to a dual language school, or living in a bilingual family for that matter, and becoming a truly bilingual adult. Sure, there is a correlation, but none of us knows if our decisions directly make our kids into who they are.

To read the rest of the story go to

%d bloggers like this: