Dual Language Immersion FAQs
What is Dual Language Immersion?
Dual Language Immersion (DLI) provides an opportunity for students to learn academic content and develop writing, reading, and communication skills in Spanish. The goals of the program are for the students to develop literacy and academic skills in both English and the target language while simultaneously enhancing cognitive skills, increasing cultural sensitivity and preparing them with a global experience.
What does DLI look like in the classroom?
Instruction is divided between two classrooms with highly qualified teachers in content and language instruction: one English and one target language. Fifty percent of the academic day is taught in English and fifty percent of the academic day is taught in the target language.
The English-speaking teacher uses half of the instructional day to teach English Language Arts, literacy, phonics, and content area support. The immersion teacher uses the other half of the day to teach math, science, social studies, phonics in and literacy in the target language. Teachers are trained in the use of instructional strategies that promote language learning and academic development.
What are class sizes like in the DLI program?
Our K-3 grade classes are maxed at 25 students. This also provides the ideal structure of a Dual Language Spanish Immersion Program to accommodate an even number of Spanish and English students. Our Kindergarten classes also receive a support paraprofessional in addition to the homeroom teacher.
What are the long term benefits of DLI?
- Develop bilingual and bi-literate students
- Increase cultural sensitivity
- Enhance cognitive skills
- Improve self-esteem
- Higher achievement/performance on standardized tests
- Create students prepared for the global workforce
How will you measure the success of the DLI program?
Student progress is monitored consistently to ensure that all students are successful academically. Each student is assessed monthly using district phonics and math assessments. Additionally, assessments are administered in the target language in an effort to measure student progress on writing, speaking, listening and reading, and ensure content mastery.
Will my child be fluent after 5th grade?
The expectation is that students who stay in the program will be fluent in both languages after the 5th grade, if not before.
Will we have to remain in the program once my child is accepted?
Yes. We ask each family to commit to the DLI program from Kindergarten to 5th grade or from 1st to 5th grade. We do understand that there are extenuating circumstances where there are students who may not be able to continue in the program.
If my child already speaks the target language, can they still participate in DLI?
Yes! Research has shown that English Language Learners do very well in the DLI program and it can help them to gain English language skills at a faster rate. Additionally, many English Language Learning students are able to speak in another language, but they are not able to read and write in that language. The DLI program will help students that already speak the language become bi-literate as well as bilingual.