Documentary on SFUSD Immersion Progams (Mandarin included): "Speaking in Tongues"
A new documentary featured in the San Francisco International Film Festival this year called "Speaking in Tongues--- 4 kids, 4 languages, 1 city, 1 world" has been generating quite a buzz among the community. As indicated by the title, the film chronicles the experiences of 4 San Francisco Unified School District students in their respective language immersion programs, Spanish, Cantonese, and Mandarin, through a school year.
The film looks at the students' personal experiences as well as their ability to build relationships using their second language. As described by Francisca Sanchez, Associate Superintendent of Academics and Professional Development SFUSD, "Watch the son of immigrant parents exceeding their abilities, not only in English, but also in Spanish. Watch the African-American son of a single mother, speaking, reading, and writing in Mandarin. Watch the Caucasian teen navigating through the streets of Beijing. And watch the young Chinese-American girl, connecting with her grandmother, in her grandma's native language- a language the girl's parents had lost."
Filmmakers Marcia Jarmel and Ken Schneider also explore the broader issue of bilingual education and the accompanying controversy. The students' parents explain their reasons for enrolling their children in immersion programs and why they remain supporters despite criticism from family, friends, and "English-only" advocates.
Showings are at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas at 1881 Post Street, San Francisco: April 26 at 3:15pm, May 2 at 3:30 pm, May 7 at 2:30 pm
There is also a FREE showing where you can actually meet the filmmakers and the students featured in the film!:
Saturday, May 9th 10:30am-12:00pm
Koret Auditorium, San Francisco Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco