Benefits of Immersion

Research shows that young children immersed in a second language acquire reading, writing and speaking proficiency as if it were their native tongue. With their brains still developing, younger children are more able to think in the second language, rather than just through translation. Moreover, brain development is enhanced because students in an immersion program utilize greater mental capacities when learning subject content in a new language, when that new language is not the commonly spoken language of the local environment.

Children who learn a new language gain bilingual/biliterate skills that enhance college entrance and career opportunities.Children who learn more in and through a new language early in their educational trajectory are more likely to attain fluency and a native-like accent in the language. Further, learning more than one language allows children to increase their vocabulary and their understanding of abstract terms (a "chair" is a tangible item, but to multilingual people the name and the thing are distinct -- they can decide which language and modifiers to use to describe the item, adding an inherent understanding of the abstract to the concrete).

Students learn their subject matter (math, science, history and language arts) in their target language. Yes, the standardized exams for each subject matter are given in English. However, studies of immersion and dual-immersion programs routinely show that children’s English development is not impaired by time spent speaking in another language, in fact, studying another language often improves a child’s English.

DLS will focus on creating an eager, creative multilingual approach to learning in students through the following beliefs and values that drive the school design:
  • Immersion Education: Children who learn in and through a new language, and eventually more than one language, learn more content than those who learn in one language only.
  • A Culturally and Globally Diverse Perspective: children who learn a language of another group also learn about the culture of that group, developing an understanding of difference in the world and in their local communities.
  • A Community of Learners: The entire DLS community will be active in learning, including students, teachers, administrators, other staff, parents and family members and local community members. All will hold each other to the high expectation required to best educate DLS students.
  • Technology to Enhance Learning: Children are often entranced by technology and, used intentionally and wisely, technology can be used as a tool to enhance and expand learning.
  • Authentic Assessments: While DLS students will all complete the required Colorado state assessments, they will also complete several internally designed assessments targeting language fluency and the ability to demonstrate mastery of content and language through performances, presentations and portfolios.
  • Family Involvement: Including the hope, ideas and inspiration of family members in their children’s education adds exponentially to their learning.
Unknown user,
Aug 5, 2011, 10:54 PM