Spanish Immersion Learning
Spanish immersion is an approach to education in which learning and instruction is conducted in Spanish. Often, Spanish is a new language for students in the program. The immersion program uses the same curricula as non-immersion classrooms in the district.
The ultimate goal of a Spanish immersion classroom is language acquisition. Students in Spanish Immersion will exit the program as bilingual, biliterate citizens of our global community.
At Gage Elementary, both native and non- native Spanish students make up our class- room. Our program is a 90/10 model. This means that Spanish is the only language of instruction in Kindergarten and in 1st grade, which makes up 90% of their days. The 10% of English instruction during the school day for kindergarten and first grade students is during specials (PE, music, media, art). Students start receiving some English instruction in the class- room near the end of second grade, with more English instruction being added every year until 5th grade, at which time about half of instruction is in English and about half of instruction is in Spanish.
In kindergarten, the full instructional day and all activities are presented in Spanish. The classroom teacher and paraprofessional speak only in Spanish. However, the children typically navigate through their day in English or a mix of English/Spanish. There is not a language production expectation for the students in kindergarten. Be prepared to see your child more tired than usual, initial frustrations, possibly anxious about communication, or more emotional than what is normal for your child.
Children acquire language by actively engaging in the target language through authentic reading, writing, speaking and listening opportunities embedded into instruction.
Non-native English students who qualify for English Language (EL) services will have the opportunity to receive services from a certified EL teacher. English language arts instruction begins in 3rd grade.
The Spanish Immersion program is open to all. Families who value proficiency in a second language acquired during elementary school are encouraged to enroll in the Immersion program. Parents are encouraged to focus on the educational program that will be a good fit for their child. Spanish immersion has the potential to be a good fit if the decision to enroll is based on growth mindset, temperament, learning style and other needs of their child.