SPS Dual Immersion Program

  • Springfield Public Schools began its first dual immersion program, in English and Spanish, during the 2014-2015 school year. Each year we have added a grade level, and the program is currently serving K-4.

    Dual immersion gives students of both languages the opportunity to become fluent in a second language — much more so than simply a separate foreign language class.

    It also helps students better understand their native language and strengthens literacy, communication and critical thinking — the key skills for academic success.

    What is dual immersion?

    Dual immersion means that students are learning in both English and Spanish throughout the school day. The curriculum is the same as in other classrooms, but students have the opportunity to learn how to read, write, listen, and speak in two languages.

    What does a dual immersion program look like?

    Dual immersion is offered as a program option within a school. Core content is taught in English for half of the day and in Spanish the other half (50/50 two-way immersion model). Each year, the program will advance a grade with the goal of creating a K-5 program.

    How does it help kids learn?

    Research has shown that multiple benefits exist for young students who acquire a second language, including: 

    • Children more easily learn a second language than adults and typically end up with a better understanding of their native language.
    • English learners have an opportunity to make more progress on grade-level instruction — reducing the number who fall behind.
    • Research shows that early second language learning increases achievement as measured by standardized testing (Armstrong & Rogers, 1997).
    • Young bilingual children show more critical thinking skills, greater sensitivity to language and stronger communication and listening skills.
    • Children develop a sense of appreciation for other cultures.
    • Proficiency in a second language gives students a head start in language requirements for college.
    • Proficiency in a second language also gives students a head start in language requirements for college and career.

    Are all students at the host school required to participate?

    No. This is a voluntary program for interested students and families. Although it is our goal to create classrooms with a balance of native English and Spanish speakers, it is not a requirement of the program. Currently, the program is being housed at Guy Lee Elementary.  

    How do I sign up my child?

    Read more about the application process here.