Dual Language for Rising Kinders

2020-21 School Year

What is Dual Language?

Spanish Dual Immersion is an exciting program where students receive 50/50 Spanish and English instruction, on an A-Day/B-Day rotation. Students will receive Spanish instruction from a bilingual teacher every other day. Students in the Dual Immersion program will learn to speak, understand, read and write in Spanish as well as in English. The program will begin in kindergarten next school year (2020-21). The Dual Immersion program will add a grade level each year so that the enrolled students may continue to advance. All students in the Dual Language Program will be taught the same North Carolina state standards and curriculum as other elementary school students.

Why would I want to enroll my child?

  • Nearly 40 years of research has shown that immersion students score significantly higher on standardized tests than non-immersion students.

  • Students educated in a dual language program are better able to navigate the complexities of a multicultural global society.

  • Research shows that the bilingual brain is better able to perform high level thinking processes than the monolingual brain.

Why is this opportunity only for kindergarten students?

It is best for students to begin the DLI program in Kindergarten in order to be successful. The skills and content taught in immersion programs build from one year to the next, so it is important that students begin in Kindergarten. By learning Kindergarten Standards in the target language, students are ready to continue doing so in the grades that follow.

Is the dual immersion program only for children that want to learn Spanish?

No! It's for English Language Learners too!

Dual language programs are also proving to be far more beneficial to English Language Learners (ELLs) than simply placing ELL students in English-speaking classrooms.

A recent study by the RAND Corporation found that ELLs in dual language programs are more likely to succeed academically in a number of key areas. In comparison to English learners who were not enrolled in dual language programs, these students were found to:

  • Outperform their peers on state reading tests
  • Be more likely to be classified as “English proficient” by grade 6

The integrated nature of dual language programs brings further benefits to ELLs in US classrooms. In contrast to English-only classes, these students are able to continue to use their native language in dual language immersion classrooms and also maintain their sense of identity and heritage. This can be a boost to student self-esteem and confidence.

In turn, this confidence helps to improve students’ communication skills, both in their new language and their native one. Through re-learning how to express themselves, they improve their ability to communicate clearly. The nature of dual language classes also ensures that students gain confidence in public speaking, regardless of which language they are using.

By combining confidence, self-esteem and a strong sense of identity, ELLs often feel empowered to take on leadership roles in the classroom. They become engaged and active participants in discussions. They also gain a sense of shared responsibility with their fellow students.

Benefits of a Bilingual Brain
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