Spanish Dual Immersion Program
Evergreen Public Schools is committed to preparing all of our students to achieve at the highest level possible. It is a goal of the district to prepare students to be world competitive as they pursue post-secondary education and career opportunities. We believe that developing bilingualism in our students is one way we can achieve this. In support of this goal, the district’s Spanish Dual Language Immersion Program will:
- Promote high academic achievement for all students, help to close achievement gaps and increase graduation rates.
- Achieve true bilingualism and biliteracy for participating students.
- Increase culturally responsive teaching throughout the school.
- Foster and promote cultural diversity and respect among students and their families
- Promote a sense of unity throughout the neighborhood school.
Our program is based upon research showing that students are not only capable of learning in two languages at once, but actually excel under these conditions. In the Evergreen Public Schools, we have adopted a 90/10 Two Way Dual Immersion language model of instruction. This means that 90% of the instruction in kindergarten is in Spanish while 10% is in English. Each year the amount of instruction in English increases, leading to a balance of teaching 50% of the day in English and 50% of the day in Spanish in 5th grade. In all grades, the language learning is going two ways: together, all students are learning language and content in both languages. Our classrooms are generally made up of approximately 50% native Spanish-speaking students and 50% native English-speaking students to facilitate language acquisition for both groups.
Application for incoming kindergarten students may be obtained athe the Dual Immersion Meetings held after winter break. The Meetings are mandatory for enrollment. See calendary link on the main ELL page
What is Spanish Dual Language Immersion?
Two Way Dual Language Immersion, also referred to as Two Way Bilingual Immersion, uses two languages for instruction. Research shows that it is the best educational model to
produce graduates who can speak in two languages, as well as read and write at or above grade level in both Spanish and English. The program is known as “Two-Way” because the class is an equal balance of native Spanish and native English speakers. “Dual” is used to indicate that students are learning language and content in both languages – In this case, Spanish and English. It is called “Immersion” because for part of the day, students are completely immersed in one or other of the target languages for all instruction and interactions in the classroom.
Here are some features:
- Families must choose to be in the program.
- Students need the full support of their families to succeed in such a challenging program. Their family does not have to be bilingual in order for the student to succeed and become fully bilingual.
- Languages are not taught as in a Spanish or French class. Instead, students are immersed in each language for a portion of the day as they study the same subjects as all students at the school.
- he teacher does not translate for the students. Children have a natural language-learning capacity, and using a second language to learn interesting things at school is a natural way to pick up that language.
- Students learn to read and write in both languages. All literacy activities including reading and writing are taught only in Spanish in the primary grades. When studentsreach 3rd grade formal literacy instruction in English begins as well. Many students self-transition to English reading and writing before this time.
Parent Participation & Commitment
Enrollment in our program is by choice. To ensure achievement and success for the student it is necessary for families to commit to the program for six years K-5), although we hope that families will choose to remain in the Dual Immersion Program through high school. Active parent support is extremely important to the long-term success of our Dual Immersion Program. We expect all students, families and teachers to work together for the success of the student. In the Program we face some special challenges. Parents say that the first couple of months are the most difficult, as the child goes through the ‘silent period’ and may seem to struggle at school. It can also be hard for parents when their child brings homework to do in a second language that the parents don’t know, so teachers keep this in mind when developing homework activities.
This is what we ask of families:
- Be serious about the long-term commitment, and be patient. The full benefits of a two-way bilingual language education blossom after 4-5 years, and keep growing.
- Support your child in this great challenge. As you know, you are your child’s greatest teacher and role model. As they work their hardest to learn in two languages, they need to know that their bilingualism and school achievement are important to you.
- Get involved. Involvement in the classrooms, helping your child with homework, and attending parent workshops is a great way to support your child and the Program.
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Washington State Seal of Biliteracy
Many of our Dual Immersion students may qualify for the Washington State Seal of Biliteracy as they prepare to graduate from high school. This is an award from the state given to students who have demonstrated a high level of biliteracy. The Seal is placed on their diploma and noted on their high school transcripts.
13501 NE 28th St.
Vancouver, WA 98668