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Nursery Program

Elementary

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why choose the Spanish Immersion Program for my child?
Studies have found that learning a second language at an early age has many benefits:

  • There is a positive effect on brain development and intellectual growth.
  • Students gain flexibility in thinking, greater sensitivity to language, and a better ear for listening.
  • It opens the door to other cultures and helps children understand and appreciate people from other countries.
  • Students acquire Spanish language fluency.
  • Spanish Immersion produces successful learners who perform well on tests.
  • Students have increased job opportunities in many careers where knowledge of another language is an asset.

What if no one at home speaks Spanish?
Report cards, notices and newsletters are issued in English. Most homework assignments are in English so parents can be active participants in their child’s learning. It is not necessary to have a Spanish background prior to starting our program. In order to create diverse learning opportunities, we have established flexible schedules, which include a balance of large and small-group experiences, teacher and child-initiated activities and opportunities for individualized instruction. The maximum class size is 15 students.

What Does the Research Say About Dual Language?
Multiple benefits exist in acquiring a second language during the primary years. Some of the benefits of learning a second language during the elementary years 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 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).

What is Authentic Learning?
Our elementary program is rooted in authentic learning.  An authentic learning experience is an in-depth investigation of a real-world topic worthy of a student’s attention and effort. The study may be carried out with an entire class or with small groups of students. During the inquiry process students are exposed to early literacy and math standards that prepare them for early reading, math, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. Teachers become facilitators in the process of investigation, revision and reflection. Students remain engaged in real-life experiences throughout the unit of study in order to create a tangible, useful product to be shared with the community.

Do all the teachers have a teaching degree?
Our elementary teachers are required to have a Bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or elementary education; alternatively, teachers with Bachelor’s degrees in other fields, such as Biology and Engineering, bring multiple years of educational experience to our classrooms. All of our teachers are native Spanish speakers, with the exception of our English Language Arts specialist. They are trained in project-based learning, second language acquisition, and literacy development in order to deliver a curriculum aligned to state, national and international standards. Foreign language and English language learner standards are incorporated to support all the students’ academic needs. Assessments will be given throughout the program to track academic and language achievement. Differentiated instruction will be incorporated into daily lesson plans to meet the needs of all students.

Do students attend special classes?
Students attend specials for 45 minutes every day. They rotate between Fine Arts, P.E., Yoga and Technology class.

How is Technology integrated into the program?
All students use technology as a tool to aid in their learning and understanding.  All students bring a personal device (an iPad or tablet) and work in a lab setting with our technology teacher. They begin learning how to research, type, use the Microsoft Office Suite, and prepare their presentations using various applications and software.

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