Parents' Guide to

Speaking in Tongues

By Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Docu focuses on benefits of multilingual education.

TV PBS Educational 2005
Speaking in Tongues Poster Image

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This informative documentary focuses on the benefits of immersing children in foreign languages, including better English language and math skills, high test scores, and the chance to become global citizens (participation also offers some students the opportunity to hold on to their first language while developing strong English language skills). The film also points out that multilingual students have potential advantages in the future -- like getting into good schools, finding better jobs, and staying competitive in a global economy.

While Speaking in Tongues underscores the immersion program's successes, it doesn't spend much time exploring existing arguments against immersion curriculum (including lack of funding and English-only legislation) in depth. As a result, it sometimes feels like an extended infomercial for immersion. But it does offer an interesting look at what immersion education is all about and what it seeks to accomplish.

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