My first experience with total Spanish immersion was in the fourth grade. My family had just moved to Charlotte. This was before Charlotte's big boom, and the public schools were definitely not great. Unbeknowst to me, the first teacher who showed up to my classroom on my first day at school was not my homeroom teacher but the Spanish teacher. She began speaking only in Spanish, and I almost burst into tears, wondering where my parents had taken me to.
23 or so years later with some high school Spanish under my belt, I was prepared for my next Spanish immersion: toddler Spanish class at Language Stars. Living in Chicago, if one has the resources, you have your choice of classes for your kids, including hip-hop and super hero training. Jeremy and I were playing it pretty straight, taking Jack to a free language class to see what we thought. Jack was quiet and shy at first and seemed to be just taking in what his Spanish-speaking teacher was saying. Today's lesson was small, medium and big. About mid-way through the class, I repeated pez grande ("big fish") to Jack as I held up a stuffed fish. He finally spoke. With a withering look, he said, "No, not grande, Mommy. It's a fish."