Springfield Public Schools began its first dual language immersion program, in English and Spanish, during the 2014-2015 school year. With the start of the 2017-2018 school year, the program has now advanced to third grade. Dual language 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 language immersion?
Dual language 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 language immersion program look like?
Dual language 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 and their 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?
Contact Guy Lee Elementary School at 541-744-6391 for more information.