Introduction: Speaking in Tongues (01:32)
Mothers reflect on their children becoming bilingual.
English Only America? (08:14)
Dr. Ling-chi Wang reflects on pride in being monolingual. Children attend their first day at Cantonese Immersion School; Durrell attends Mandarin Immersion School. Angelica Chang discusses teaching in Chinese and the children's ability to learn. The ideal time to become bilingual is before age 13.
Language in the Classroom (05:32)
Julian has been part of the Chinese immersion program for nine years. Jason attends Spanish immersion. Esthela Ford fears Jason's Spanish is getting weaker. By 2025, one third of public-school children will not speak English when starting kindergarten.
Language at Home (06:42)
Kelly attends Cantonese immersion; she and most of her classmates do not speak Chinese at home. Kelly's parents reflect on communicating in English. Jason's dad never attended school in the U.S.; he wants to learn English.
Second Language Learning (05:23)
The San Francisco Board of Education meets to discuss preparing students for a multilingual, multicultural world. Throughout the city, parents, teachers and administrators argue over the how and why of becoming bilingual.
School Events (05:31)
Durrell celebrates his sixth birthday and the Chinese New Year. His mother reflects on others attending the school. Julian's school and local families host Chinese students; Yang Bo will stay with Julian.
Bilingualism in the U.S. (08:04)
Kelly's family discusses speaking English. Jason participates in a school opera; academic Spanish is important. Durrell’s mother describes an encounter he had with a native Chinese speaker. Businesses seek bilingual workers; the D.O.D. spends millions to teach strategic languages. Voters have passed "English Only" laws in 31 states.
Chinese Language Skills (08:22)
Durrell visits Chinatown for the first time. Kelly's school hosts dragon boat races. She cooks dumplings with her grandmother. Julian explains why he wants to go to China; he stays with Yang Bo and his family.
Jason graduates from fifth grade. His father becomes emotional and reflects on Jason's future.
Student Update (01:15)
Durrell is in second grade; he speaks and reads in Mandarin. Kelly is in seventh grade; her team calls plays in Chinese. Jason is in 7th grade and tests well above grade level. Julian is in high school; he hopes to use Chinese in his future career.
Credits: Speaking in Tongues (01:43)
Credits: Speaking in Tongues
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