DUAL LANGUAGE PROGRAM

Starting in 2017, Saint Helena Catholic School TK – 2nd grade students will have the opportunity to speak, read, and write in Spanish and in English. In this innovative program, 50% of core classes are taught in Spanish and 50% in English.

This effective method strengthens students cognitive abilities, and enable them to become bi-lingual and bi-literate by the time they reach high school. This program will give all students a strong foundation for academic and career success. Children from English speaking homes will learn a second language at a prime time for language acquisition; while children from Spanish speaking homes will receive critical academic support for their heritage language. 

BOSTON COLLEGE TWO WAY IMMERSION NETWORK 

Saint Helena Catholic School is thrilled to be in partnership with Boston College. We have been accepted as a study school in a Two Way Immersion Network for Catholic Schools. We are one of 18 schools in the network nationwide.

This is a great privilege and will help Saint Helena Catholic School develop a very strong and successful program. Boston College offers professional staff development, and regular network mentoring.

Would you like your child to:

  • Be a bilingual speaker?
  • Learn our curriculum while developing bilingual skills?
  • Read and write in both English and Spanish?
  • Develop greater understanding of both cultures?

Benefits of Dual Language Immersion

  • Language proficiency in both English and Spanish
  • Improved communication ability
  • Enhanced listening skills
  • Exceed performance standards of solo language learners
  • Increased problem solving skills
  • Greater cultural appreciation
  • More prepared for global culture and market

Dual ImmersionFrequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

Do Dual Language Immersion students meet academic standards?

Yes! Dual Immersion students attain the same level of competence not only in language skill but in other core subjects as well. Furthermore, immersion students develop the critical thinking needed to exceed standards much earlier than their peers.

Does Dual Language Immersion work for a wide range of learners?

Immersion programs serve students of all backgrounds and levels of academic ability. Academic challenges do not preclude students from success in immersion.

Will My Child’s English Skills Suffer?

More English does not mean better results in English reading or writing – for both native English Speakers and native Spanish Speakers. Test results show that most dual language schools outperform their other demographically similar schools, the state, and local school district. However, studies show that students sometimes lag in both languages, compared to their peers in single-language classrooms, for a short period before out performance begins. This is understandable as breath of learning must be established before depth of learning is measurable.

How does Dual Language Immersion differ from standard language learning programs?

The key aspect of Dual Immersion is that students do not just learn a language but learn to think in that language. While in the second language classroom, the students receive a higher level of exposure to the language. Since learning takes place in a cultural environment, student’s language becomes second nature.

How does Dual Language Immersion affect cultural appreciation?

With exposure to a second language, immersion  students gain higher level of understanding for other cultures.

How long until my child is fluent in a second language?

Every child learns differently whether they are learning in English or Spanish. The amount of time it takes for a student to be fully fluent will depend on the student’s learning patterns, behavior and environment. Our teachers will work with every student to insure that they are learning at their unique optimum level.

Will my child speak exactly like native speakers of the second language?

Although the second language will be spoken extensively in school, it is necessary for Immersion student’s to interact with native speakers outside of the classroom if they want to achieve native-like competence including fixing grammatical errors, increased vocabulary, and idioms.

 

Dual Language Immersion Research and Information