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Spanish Immersion

Program Objectives

The Dual Language Immersion program at Poston Road Elementary is a program designed to empower students to achieve at a high academic standard.  The program provides students with the opportunity to become college and career ready with the ability to compete in the globally-minded world.  Student success is ensured through content knowledge and fluency in both languages.  Students are instructed according to the Indiana Academic Standards for grade level competencies in all subject areas in both English and Spanish.  This program provides our students with an increased cultural awareness and capacity that will translate to higher-order thinking skills, social capital, and better future job skills and prospects.

 

Parent Involvement

A strong partnership between home and school is an essential component to the success of both our program and the success of our students participating in the program.  Students will enter the program in Kindergarten and commit to the program for the remainder of their elementary career in order to receive the full benefits of the program.  At the registration of a student into the program, parents will be asked to sign a parent agreement form indicating that they will commit to the program for the entirety of their child’s educational career.

 

Program Design

The Dual Language Program at Poston Road Elementary will be based upon the Utah model for dual language immersion programs.  The bilingual program will be a full-time bilingual instructional program that promotes language acquisition, literacy development, and academic learning in two languages.  The student will experience both Spanish and English language immersion.  The program implements 50% of daily instruction in Spanish and 50% of daily instruction in English from Kindergarten through 5th grade.  Students are taught by a team of two teachers, one who teaches primarily in Spanish and one who teaches in English.  Students transfer between the two teachers in order to recieve content and language instruction in both languages.  The English speaking teacher will assume responsibility for teaching the English/Language Arts literacy block and collaborate reinforcement of the content areas (science, math, and social studies) while the Spanish speaking teacher will teach Spanish language literacy and the content areas of math, science, and social studies.  Program participation begins in kindergarten and a subsequent grade level will be added each year as students progress through the grade levels.  Students are expected to remain in the program through their elementary career.  The charts on the following page demonstrate the distribution of instructional time.

 

Program Admission

In order to maintain the integrity of the instructional model, the Dual Language Immersion Program admission will be subject to the following criteria:

  1. All students that attend Poston Road Elementary may apply.  Students outside of Poston Road’s School District will also be accepted based on availability.
  2. Parents must sign a program agreement that explains the program’s goals, parent responsibilities, and commitment to the program.
  3. Program participants and their families are expected to commit to the Dual Language Immersion Program through 5th grade.  This duration of enrollment ensures full development of academic content and Spanish and English literacy skills.
  4. Students may enroll in the program at the kindergarten and first grade levels.  Students wishing to enroll in the program after first grade may be admitted at any grade level based on proficiency levels in both English and Spanish.  Admission will be determined by the district’s proficiency assessment.  
  5. Once enrolled in the program, students automatically progress to the next grade level in the program unless disenrolled by parents or the school.
  6. Disenrollment of a student will be determined in a meeting with the school principal, program teachers, and parents.

 

Kindergarten Admission Process

  1. Parents who are interested in the program will attend an informational meeting.
  2. Parents will fill out a program application.
  3. Parents will be notified before the end of the school year of student’s acceptance into the program.
  4. Parents will complete enrollment and commitment forms.

 

Program Selection Process

Students are selected into the Dual Language Immersion Program based on the following selection process:

  1. All applications shall be submitted by the school’s deadline.
  2. Students will be selected through a lottery selection process if applicants exceed program capacity.
  3. Students not selected for the program will be put on a waiting list.
  4. Within the first two weeks of the start of school, any withdrawals from the program will be replaced with students according to the waiting list order.

 

Screening for new students in 2nd – 4th Grade

All students are invited to enroll in our program at the kindergarten and first grade levels.  Students wishing to enroll in 2nd – 5th grades will be administered a district proficiency assessment to make a determination if they meet the necessary criteria to be successful in the program.  The assessment/screening evaluation will be conducted by a dual language immersion program teacher to assess the student’s language proficiency in English and Spanish.  As a result of the assessment, a decision will be made on whether the Dual Language Immersion Program is the best placement and option for the student.

 

Request to Withdrawal

Parents and students admitted into the program make a long-term commitment to remain in the program for its duration. Therefore, requests for withdrawal will only be considered due to extenuating circumstances and may go through a multi-step process including conferences with the teacher and principal.

 

Transportation

The Dual Language Immersion Program is an elective program.  Therefore, parents will be required to provide transportation for their child if Poston Road Elementary is not the student’s home campus.

 

Program Accountability

The Dual Language Immersion Program will be evaluated based on the following standards:

  • Curriculum-based assessments will be administered in the appropriate language of instruction throughout the course of the school year.
  • Spanish language proficiency and performance assessments will be administered throughout the course of the school year.
  • Progress reporting will follow district timelines.
  • State required tests will be administered to students in the Dual Language Immersion Program.
  • Qualitative data will be gathered through student/parent/staff surveys to gather stakeholders’ opinions and feelings, gauge program effectiveness, and increase positive impact in the community.

Dual Language Immersion Program

Info & FAQs

 

  1. What is Dual Language (One-Way Spanish Immersion)?

The Dual Language Immersion Program provides a way to learn academic content while acquiring another language at the same time.  Students receive math, science, and social studies instruction in a target language, such as Spanish.  The teaching strategies used support students in learning the concepts and skills for the subject area and develop the ability to read, write, speak, and listen in another target language.

 

  1. Will a second language interfere with my child’s English ability?

In most cases, learning another language enhances a child’s English ability. Children can learn much about English by learning the structure of another language. Common vocabulary also helps children learn the meaning of new words in English. Experimental studies have shown that no long-term delay in native English language development occurs in children participating in second language classes, even in full immersion programs. In fact, children enrolled in foreign language programs score statistically higher on standardized tests conducted in English. A number of reports have demonstrated that children who have learned a second language earn higher SAT scores, particularly on the verbal section of the test. One study showed that, by the fifth grade of an immersion program, students outperformed all comparison groups and remained high academic achievers throughout their schooling.

 

  1. Will my child fall behind if he/she learns two languages?

Research have shown that young children have the capacity to learn multiple languages and have demonstrated stronger cognitive abilities.  Concepts learned in either language become a part of the child’s general knowledge. Many language concepts transfer from one language to another. Please see the following websites for more information on current research in language learning: Center for Applied Linguistics (www.cal.org), Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (www.carla.umn.edu), National Association of Bilingual Education (www.nabe.org), Illinois Research Center (www.thecenterweb.org/irc/), Dual Language New Mexico (www.duallanguaegnm.org).

 

  1. Will my child learn the same things as students in the regular classes?

Yes, the curriculum must follow the guidelines for the Indiana Department of Education College and Career Ready State Standards. Dual Language classes cover the same grade level learning standards as do regular English classes.

Students work toward the same academic goals regardless of the language of instruction.

 

  1. How can we manage if no one in our family speaks Spanish?

That is not a difficulty. The school realizes that many parents are monolingual and will answer your questions/concerns in English. Homework instructions may be given in both languages and will consist of previously taught material.

 

  1. How can I evaluate my child’s progress if no one speaks Spanish at home?

In addition to the report card, there is also communication with parents through newsletters, parent-teacher conferences, special notices, emails and phone calls.

 

  1. How will my child understand if he/she does not speak the second language?

Teachers use many strategies to make the content understandable, such as visuals, props, manipulatives, facial expressions, gestures, physical movements and many other instructional techniques. The teachers also repeat vocabulary and concepts and always check for understanding. Teachers do not expect your child to speak the second language right away. The students are not forced to speak the second language and they are initially allowed to speak English/Spanish. The teachers will restate what your child says to reinforce the connection between the Spanish and English vocabulary or vice versa.

 

  1. How can students who speak only English learn when they are instructed for up to 50 percent of the day in a language they don’t understand?

The English speaker is not at risk of losing the English language. English is spoken at home, in the community, and in the media. Dual immersion programs are not replacing English with another language, but provide the students the opportunity to acquire a second language. Dual immersion programs are additive programs in that a second language is acquired while maintaining the first language of the students. Understanding the research on which these programs are based best answers this question. Dual immersion programs are based on years of research from the foreign language immersion models in Canada designed for English speakers learning French*. This model, in which English-speaking students have been instructed in French for up to 100% of their day, shows students perform as well as or better on tests of English than their English-speaking peers who have been instructed only in English.

 

  1. Is dual language immersion a gifted/high ability program?

The dual language immersion program seeks to enroll students of varying backgrounds and all ability levels.  All students are capable of acquiring another language.  Applications are open to all students entering Kindergarten.