What Is The Language Academy?
The Language Academy at Nellie Muir is a two way immersion program. The program is designed to emphasize challenging standards in the core curriculum domains (reading, writing, math, science, and social studies) while enriching the students’ development in both their first language and a second language. The program aims for full proficiency in two languages, an understanding and appreciation of the cultures associated with those languages, and high levels of achievement in all core academic domains.
At Nellie Muir, the Language Academy is a Spanish-English two way immersion program, with approximately half of the students having English as a dominant language and half of the students having Spanish as a dominant language.
What Does It Look Like?
The program begins in kindergarten, with the students from both language groups working and learning together throughout their elementary careers. In kindergarten and first grade, the instructional day is conducted in Spanish for about 80% of the day and in English for about 20% of the day. By 5th grade, the instructional day moves to approximately 50% English and 50% Spanish.
What Are The Program Features?
- Qualified bilingual teachers
- Cross-cultural student interaction
- Home-school collaboration
- Administrative commitment and support
What Are The Benefits?
Studies of dual immersion programs indicate that learning a second language can benefit students in important ways:
- Higher academic achievement (Thomas and Collier, 2002; Lindholm & Aclan, 1991)
- Increased cognitive skills (Bialystock, cited in Foreman, 2002)
- Positive academic attitudes and behaviors (Lindholm-Leary, 2001)
In addition, students who achieve literacy in two languages will have a “head start” toward achieving high levels of academic proficiency in Woodburn High School’s International Baccalaureate program, an academically rigorous program that includes proficiency in two languages and that has benefits for students entering college (including eligibility for scholarships and college credit for high school achievement).
- New kindergarten and first grade students who are English dominant, bilingual in English and Spanish, or Spanish dominant
- Families who are committed to the educational success of their children in the Language Academy dual immersion program through the fifth grade
- Children who want to learn to speak, read, and write in two languages
For more information about the two way immersion program at Nellie Muir, contact the principal at (503) 982-4300 or email@example.com.
The Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) in Washington, DC is an excellent resource for learning more about two way immersion programs in the United States. CAL maintains a national directory of two way programs, as well as a set of guiding principles and a research bibliography for two way immersion programs.
The Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) at the University of Minnesota is a National Language Resource Center and is an excellent resource for learning more about second language teaching and learning in the United States.