Reading at Lakes International Language Academy

Multilingual Literacy:
All students at Lakes International are developing literacy skills in two or more languages.  Students complete our six-year Primary Years Programme able to understand, speak, read and write in both English and the target language of Spanish or Mandarin.

Students in kindergarten through fifth grade are working towards the Common Core Standards in all languages of instruction. Language and literacy are integrated throughout the day and throughout the school.  Reading and language skills connect directly to our IB PYP trans-disciplinary skills, attitudes and concepts.  The entire school community is involved in developing thoughtful, critical readers with the communication skills needed to succeed in a global community.                                                   

Language of Instruction
For the Chinese immersion program, all classroom instruction is in the target language in Kindergarten, first grade and the first six weeks of second grade.

For the Spanish immersion program, all classroom instruction is in the target language in Kindergarten, first grade and the first half of second grade.

Students learn to read and write in the target language first.

Once English language arts are formally introduced in second grade, students will have about an hour a day of English instruction up through fifth grade. Students learn the phonics, sight words, structure and other details that are unique to the English language.  Within two years of English instruction (mid-fourth grade), most immersion students have caught up to their peers in traditional, English-only schools.

Common Literacy Skills 
Transfer Across Languages:
The majority of the skills needed to become a thoughtful and critical reader are the same regardless of the language.  Spanish, Mandarin and English all read from left to right.  Good readers develop habits that help them make meaning from text such as:
  • Looking at illustrations to find meaning and detail. 
  • Stopping to think about how what they read connects with what they already know. 
  • Pausing or re-reading if something doesn't sound right or make sense.  
  • Comparing and contrasting different texts.
  • Questioning what they read: What is the author saying? Does she give evidence for her ideas?
In Chinese, each written character represents one word or syllable.  It is read from left to right, like in English.

Spanish and English have even more commonalities. They both rely on a phonetic alphabet.  75% of the letters even make the same sounds in the two languages.
Subpages (1): Local Literacy Plan