Thursday, August 14, 2008

Dual-Language Instruction: Coming to a School Near You?

Way to go, Public Schools!

Every month or so I get news alerts about public schools introducing in kindergarten dual-language or immersions programs in Spanish or Mandarin.

There are still many issues for school districts to work out--the how-to, funding, resources, bilingual teachers--but hopefully, with demand from parents, it will continue to catch on.

I've provided links to some most recent articles.
  • Elementary School Starts New Bilingual Program - (Washoe County, NV) When most of the students started kindergarten in Gisela Daniel's class they hardy spoke any English. "These days speaking two languages is so important. It has opened so many doors for me."
  • Moms Proposing an Immersion Language School - (Denver, CO) Two Denver moms tired of driving their young children to Aurora are proposing the city's first public Chinese and Spanish language immersion school. "We're trying to build this program from our kitchens," Camilla Modesitt told Denver Public Schools board members on Tuesday.
  • Dual Language Session Draws Crowd - (Palo Alto, CA) Hundreds of parents packed a Palo Alto school on Wednesday night to learn more about enrolling their children in the district's new Mandarin immersion program. After a year of divisive debate over whether to start dual immersion classrooms in Mandarin next fall, the crowd of between 200 and 300 parents at Ohlone Elementary School on Wednesday night attested to a strong base of interest in the fledgling program.
  • School District to Expand Dual Language Program - (Blaine County, ID) After seven years of providing a special curriculum to help students become proficient in two languages, the Blaine County School District plans to double the size of its Dual Immersion Program beginning next fall.
(Some news sites archive their articles after 1 or 2 months. So, sorry in advance if the articles are no longer available after this post gets old.)


We are Little Amigos said...

It's very encouraging, lot's of work to be done, but these are small steps in the right direction.

Thanks for sharing!

Jessica said...

Agreed. Glad you stopped by.

Diane said...

I'm always encouraged to hear good news. The school district where I currently teach high school is actually considering the development of K-12 language programs. Non-immersion, but I'll gladly take FLES. Still, I'll believe it when I see it. But it's all because parents have been regularly requesting foreign language in early grades!!!!! We're hoping to offer Spanish, Chinese, German, and French. Keep your fingers crossed!
Diane at

Karen said...

We're not even there - foreign languages aren't even offered until high school in my county. I really feel this puts our children at a disadvantage. Luckily I can teach my own two boys at home. :)

nicole viola said...

hi! found your site thru Karen @teachingandlearningspanish.
I'm glad to see these articles... I'm a huge proponent of dual-immersion programs! I worked at one for 2 years and did my undergrad senior project on the program! I hope I can find one for my daughter when she's school-aged! I look forward to reading your site more!

Jessica said...

Thanks for stopping by Nicole! I hope your daughter will be fortunate enough to attend a dual-language school too.

Start looking in your area and your surrounding area from now. I was so bent on my daughter going to a particular (and costly) immersion-school that I didn't realize that there were dual-language public schools a little outside my area.