Why did the district choose Spanish for the Immersion Program?
Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world and is the official language of 44 countries.
What Are the Benefits of Knowing a Second Language?
Second Language Skills
Improved Performance on State / Standardized Test
Enhanced Cognitive Skills
Increased Cultural Sensitivity
Preparation for global community and job markets
How will learning everything in a second language affect my child’s language and literacy development in the native language?
Research consistently finds that the immersion experience actually enhances native language development (Cloud, Genesee, & Hamayan, 2000)
What can I do to support my child’s immersion experience if I don’t speak the second language?
Read daily to your child in your home language, communicate with your teachers on a regular basis about your child’s progress, support your child’s use of both languages outside of the classroom, become informed about dual immersion, and make a commitment to the program
What should I expect in the beginning for my child?
It is completely normal for your child to be initially confused and even experience frustration. Children new to the dual-immersion program will typically be tired at the end of the day, as learning a new language is cognitively demanding. Children are often resilient and will soon feel comfortable in the dual-immersion program.
Will my child still learn to read and write English at the same pace?
Yes! With the 50-50 model, students will learning at the same pace. It is normal for students to experience a temporary lag. Once students become comfortable with the program, most students perform at or above grade level in both languages.
What does a typical day look like?
Students learn the same North Carolina standards-based curriculum as their English-only counterparts, just in Spanish. Students spend 50% of their time learning in English and 50% of their time learning in Spanish, taught by a native English speaking teacher and a native Spanish speaking teacher in an A-B day format. This allows all students in the classroom to spend half of their time further developing their first language while spending the other half acquiring a second language.
I don't speak Spanish. How do I help with homework?
You do not need to speak the target language to be supportive of your child’s learning. Incorporating homework time into your family’s routine, establishing a quiet and comfortable study environment, encouraging your child to ask questions in class, and reaching out to your child’s bilingual teacher via email or phone for further clarification are all useful avenues for support
How do I best support my child in learning a new language?
We will provide information for parents throughout the program from Kindergarten through 5th grade. In general, research shows that you can support the process by:
Committing to participate in this program fully through 6th grade.
Being patient and supportive since it may take time for your child to feel comfortable in a classroom where a new language is being spoken
Joining this exciting journey by learning some Spanish or English yourself
Reading with your child in their native language for 20-30 minutes daily
Encouraging your child to practice their languages skills with native speakers in the community
Will End of Grade (EOG) testing be in English or Spanish?
All state-mandated assessments, like the EOGs, will be taken in English.
How are the Spanish Program students projected to score on standardized tests in English?
Research indicates that when children are proficient in two languages, they score higher than their monolingual peers on standardized tests. (See below)