What is a Dual Language Immersion Program?
A dual language immersion program uses two languages for literacy and content instruction for all students. The program provides the same academic content and addresses the same standards as other educational programs. All students will learn to read, write, and communicate effectively in Spanish and English while achieving high levels of academic success. Students will have the bilingual skills and cross-cultural competencies needed to succeed in our multicultural society and global economy.
Why choose the Dual Language Immersion approach?
We know it takes five to seven years to fully develop language fluency. Research also demonstrates that
children who maintain and develop academic language skills (not only social language) in their first language, and continue to develop these skills over time as they acquire a second language, have more academic success by middle and high school than those students who did not maintain their first language. Traditional bilingual programs, where students do not maintain their academic Spanish, are associated with lower levels of English attainment. Conversely, in dual immersion programs, students attain higher levels of both English and Spanish fluency while also performing competitively in other academic subjects.
El Sol's 90/10 Model
El Sol employs a 90/10 model, which means that Kindergarten is taught 90% in Spanish and 10% in English. Each year the amount of Spanish decreases and English increases a bit, thus First Grade is taught 80% in Spanish and 20% in English, Second Grade is taught 70% in Spanish and 30% in English, and so on until Fourth Grade, which is taught 50% in Spanish and 50% in English. This gradual approach allows students to develop a solid foundation in their primary language before advancing in the secondary language. The 50/50 distribution is maintained through 8th Grade.
The API measures academic performance, based on statewide testing, on a scale of 200 to 1,000, with 800 considered proficient. El Sol’s API score has climbed from 559 in 2003 to 880 in 2011, exceeding district and state averages and El Sol’s own target growth scores.