Elementary Youngsters Immersed in Russian Classes in Alaska School
Visitors to Anchorage’s Turnagain Elementary School are more likely to hear pupils greet them with “ Kak de-LAH ” than “How are you?” They’d be well advised to respond with “ nee-PLOH-hah ” (not bad), and if they’re curious, politely ask their host’s name: “ Kahk-vahz-zah-VOOT ?”
Those phonetic introductions would no doubt befuddle many adults, but they’re growing more natural by the day at Turnagain, which advocates of foreign-language study say has one of the only Russian-immersion programs at a public elementary school in the United States.
The initiative, which began in the fall, is run through two classes in 1st grade and two in kindergarten, where children spend half the day learning entirely in Russian and half in English. Over the coming years, the 49,000-student Anchorage district plans to expand the program to higher grades, year by year, so that students can continue to build on...
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