The Dual Language Immersion program at Poston Road Elementary is a program designed to empower students to achieve at a high academic standard. The program provides students with the opportunity to become college and career ready with the ability to compete in the globally-minded world. Student success is ensured through content knowledge and fluency in both languages. Students are instructed according to the Indiana Academic Standards for grade level competencies in all subject areas in both English and Spanish. This program provides our students with an increased cultural awareness and capacity that will translate to higher-order thinking skills, social capital, and better future job skills and prospects.
A strong partnership between home and school is an essential component to the success of both our program and the success of our students participating in the program. Students will enter the program in Kindergarten and commit to the program for the remainder of their elementary career in order to receive the full benefits of the program. At the registration of a student into the program, parents will be asked to sign a parent agreement form indicating that they will commit to the program for the entirety of their child’s educational career.
The Dual Language Program at Poston Road Elementary will be based upon the Utah model for dual language immersion programs. The bilingual program will be a full-time bilingual instructional program that promotes language acquisition, literacy development, and academic learning in two languages. The student will experience both Spanish and English language immersion. The program implements 50% of daily instruction in Spanish and 50% of daily instruction in English from Kindergarten through 5th grade. Students are taught by a team of two teachers, one who teaches primarily in Spanish and one who teaches in English. Students transfer between the two teachers in order to recieve content and language instruction in both languages. The English speaking teacher will assume responsibility for teaching the English/Language Arts literacy block and collaborate reinforcement of the content areas (science, math, and social studies) while the Spanish speaking teacher will teach Spanish language literacy and the content areas of math, science, and social studies. Program participation begins in kindergarten and a subsequent grade level will be added each year as students progress through the grade levels. Students are expected to remain in the program through their elementary career. The charts on the following page demonstrate the distribution of instructional time.
In order to maintain the integrity of the instructional model, the Dual Language Immersion Program admission will be subject to the following criteria:
Kindergarten Admission Process
Program Selection Process
Students are selected into the Dual Language Immersion Program based on the following selection process:
Screening for new students in 2nd – 4th Grade
All students are invited to enroll in our program at the kindergarten and first grade levels. Students wishing to enroll in 2nd – 5th grades will be administered a district proficiency assessment to make a determination if they meet the necessary criteria to be successful in the program. The assessment/screening evaluation will be conducted by a dual language immersion program teacher to assess the student’s language proficiency in English and Spanish. As a result of the assessment, a decision will be made on whether the Dual Language Immersion Program is the best placement and option for the student.
Request to Withdrawal
Parents and students admitted into the program make a long-term commitment to remain in the program for its duration. Therefore, requests for withdrawal will only be considered due to extenuating circumstances and may go through a multi-step process including conferences with the teacher and principal.
The Dual Language Immersion Program is an elective program. Therefore, parents will be required to provide transportation for their child if Poston Road Elementary is not the student’s home campus.
The Dual Language Immersion Program will be evaluated based on the following standards:
The Dual Language Immersion Program provides a way to learn academic content while acquiring another language at the same time. Students receive math, science, and social studies instruction in a target language, such as Spanish. The teaching strategies used support students in learning the concepts and skills for the subject area and develop the ability to read, write, speak, and listen in another target language.
In most cases, learning another language enhances a child’s English ability. Children can learn much about English by learning the structure of another language. Common vocabulary also helps children learn the meaning of new words in English. Experimental studies have shown that no long-term delay in native English language development occurs in children participating in second language classes, even in full immersion programs. In fact, children enrolled in foreign language programs score statistically higher on standardized tests conducted in English. A number of reports have demonstrated that children who have learned a second language earn higher SAT scores, particularly on the verbal section of the test. One study showed that, by the fifth grade of an immersion program, students outperformed all comparison groups and remained high academic achievers throughout their schooling.
Research have shown that young children have the capacity to learn multiple languages and have demonstrated stronger cognitive abilities. Concepts learned in either language become a part of the child’s general knowledge. Many language concepts transfer from one language to another. Please see the following websites for more information on current research in language learning: Center for Applied Linguistics (www.cal.org), Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (www.carla.umn.edu), National Association of Bilingual Education (www.nabe.org), Illinois Research Center (www.thecenterweb.org/irc/), Dual Language New Mexico (www.duallanguaegnm.org).
Yes, the curriculum must follow the guidelines for the Indiana Department of Education College and Career Ready State Standards. Dual Language classes cover the same grade level learning standards as do regular English classes.
Students work toward the same academic goals regardless of the language of instruction.
That is not a difficulty. The school realizes that many parents are monolingual and will answer your questions/concerns in English. Homework instructions may be given in both languages and will consist of previously taught material.
In addition to the report card, there is also communication with parents through newsletters, parent-teacher conferences, special notices, emails and phone calls.
Teachers use many strategies to make the content understandable, such as visuals, props, manipulatives, facial expressions, gestures, physical movements and many other instructional techniques. The teachers also repeat vocabulary and concepts and always check for understanding. Teachers do not expect your child to speak the second language right away. The students are not forced to speak the second language and they are initially allowed to speak English/Spanish. The teachers will restate what your child says to reinforce the connection between the Spanish and English vocabulary or vice versa.
The English speaker is not at risk of losing the English language. English is spoken at home, in the community, and in the media. Dual immersion programs are not replacing English with another language, but provide the students the opportunity to acquire a second language. Dual immersion programs are additive programs in that a second language is acquired while maintaining the first language of the students. Understanding the research on which these programs are based best answers this question. Dual immersion programs are based on years of research from the foreign language immersion models in Canada designed for English speakers learning French*. This model, in which English-speaking students have been instructed in French for up to 100% of their day, shows students perform as well as or better on tests of English than their English-speaking peers who have been instructed only in English.
The dual language immersion program seeks to enroll students of varying backgrounds and all ability levels. All students are capable of acquiring another language. Applications are open to all students entering Kindergarten.