DUAL LANGUAGE IMMERSION
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is Dual Language Immersion? Dual Language Immersion (DLI) is an additive response to the needs of diverse, multilingual communities from across the Diocese of Orange. Students are taught core academic subjects (math, science, history, language arts, religion) in both English and Spanish. Developing over the course of several years, students gain full language proficiency. Your child will graduate with fluency, conversational and academic language, in English and Spanish.
What happens in a Dual Language Immersion (DLI) classroom? Language is the vehicle for instruction in immersion classrooms. Fifty percent of the day, the language of instruction is Spanish and the other half in English. Students speak, read, write, sing, do math, conduct experiments, etc. in Spanish. The teachers still follow the state standards and common core curriculum.
Do Dual Language Immersion students meet academic standards? Immersion students attain the same level of competence not only in language skill but in standard subjects as well. Furthermore, Immersion students develop the critical thinking needed to exceed standards much earlier than their peers.
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. The learning takes place in a different cultural environment, so everyday learning takes place as if the student was in another country. Thus, the student’s language becomes not just functional but second nature.
What are the goals for the program? The goals of Dual language Immersion are bilingualism, biliteracy and biculturalism. In other words, by the time students graduate from our school they will be able to listen, speak, read, write and learn academic content in both languages. They will equally learn to embrace differences because this model celebrates exactly this, culture and language.
Will learning Spanish interfere with my child’s ability to learn English? No. Research shows that students who acquire advanced levels of proficiency in two languages often experience cognitive and linguistic advantages when compared to monolingual students. Language Immersion students perform better on tasks that require divergent thinking, pattern recognition, and problem solving, and have enhanced levels of metalinguistic awareness.
How long until my child is fluent in the second language? Research shows that it takes between 5 and 10 years to become fluent. The amount of time it takes for a student to be fully fluent will depend on the student’s learning patterns, parental involvement and dedication, learning environment and learning capacity. Our teachers will work with every student to ensure that they are learning at their optimum level.
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 and they achieve higher levels of proficiency in their second language.