What Is Dual Immersion?

  • Springfield Public Schools is proud to offer a dual immersion program at Guy Lee Elementary. This program provides special language instruction that will prepare students to become bilingual and biliterate, and promotes high academic achievement in two languages (English and Spanish).

    Dual immersion education integrates native English speaking and native Spanish speaking students in the same classroom. Students develop oral and cognitive academic language in both English and Spanish while mastering grade level knowledge and skills in all elementary content areas.

    Our program is based on a 50/50 model, in which 50% of the instruction is delivered in English and the other 50% is delivered in Spanish. The program is designed to teach children a second language in a natural way through subject content instruction and everyday classroom conversation.

    Goals

    Students in the dual immersion program are presented with the social and cognitive benefits of bilingualism. They gain a second language, a broader vocabulary, and multiple views of the world (Cazabon, Lambert, & Heise-Baigorria, 2002). In order to acquire these benefits, the program sets out to accomplish the following goals:

    • Prepare students to perform at or above grade level in both languages.
    • Develop high level of proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in both English and Spanish.
    • Develop positive attitudes toward those who speak the other language and toward their culture.
    • Promote self-esteem and leadership skills.

    Research

    Multiple benefits exist for acquiring a second language during a student’s primary years. Some of the benefits include:

    • Children have the ability to learn and excel in the pronunciation of a foreign language (Krashen, et al., 1982).
    • Participation in early foreign language shows positive results in areas of standardized testing (Armstrong & Rogers, 1997).
    • Children who had studied a foreign language show greater cognitive development (Hakuta, 1990).
    • Foreign language study has been shown to increase listening skills, memory, and a greater understanding of one’s own language (Lapkin, et al., 1990).
    • Children studying foreign language have an improved self concept and sense of achievement in school (Caine & Caine, 1997).
    • Children develop a sense of cultural pluralism, openness and appreciation of other cultures (Met, 1995).

     

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