The West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District is proud to offer a Dual Language Immersion (DLI) program at the elementary school level. WW-P currently offers two programs: Mandarin Chinese and Spanish. At the K-3 level, Mandarin Chinese is offered at Maurice Hawk Elementary School and Spanish is offered at Dutch Neck Elementary School. At the 4th & 5th grade level, both Spanish and Chinese are offered at Village Elementary School.
All WW-P students are eligible to apply for the program prior to the start of kindergarten. We are fortunate to welcome a robust blend of new language learners and students who already speak the language in the DLI Kindergarten program each fall. These students form a DLI cohort that continues together through 5th grade. As it is anticipated that many students in the program and their families will not speak the target language at the start of the program, lessons are designed for students who are beginning to learn the language.
The mission of the DLI program is to support students as they learn core academic content and skills through the target language (Spanish or Mandarin Chinese), thereby acquiring a high level of communicative and academic proficiency in both English and the target language. The program also seeks to foster strong intercultural competence in every learner; we want students to grow in their knowledge and appreciation of other cultures, to develop a deeper understanding of their own cultures, and to learn how to communicate effectively across global communities.
Our program is aligned to the New Jersey Student Learning Standards in English/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, World Languages, and all other content areas. In our half-day Kindergarten program, DLI students are fully immersed in the target language (Spanish or Mandarin Chinese) during classroom instruction. DLI Kindergarteners are only exposed to English during special area classes and school-wide activities. Formal study of English Language Arts begins in 1st grade and continues through 5th grade, where students experience 50% of the day in English and 50% in the target language, with academic content reinforced in both languages.