In the past decade, research has shown that the discipline of learning a second language system at a young age increases cognitive flexibility and translates into higher achievement across subject areas for young students. Recognizing these studies and community support for programs that teach children to read, write and speak a second language, South Pasadena Unified School District (SPUSD) developed a dual language immersion program three years ago aligned to its strategic plan.
For parents interested in learning more about the program, SPUSD is hosting a Dual Immersion Parent Information Meeting on Tuesday, January 29, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. in the District office boardroom at 1020 El Centro Street.
“The SPUSD dual language immersion program offers students a unique opportunity to become bilingual and biliterate at a young age,” said Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services Christiane Gervais. “The program gives elementary-aged students the opportunity to study Spanish or Mandarin within a traditional elementary school setting.”
Designed for children and parents who desire a proficiency in a language other than English, the classes seek to expand world language experiences for young learners. The Mandarin dual immersion program is designed for English learners and English speaking students and follows a 50/50 instructional model in kindergarten through grade five, which means that approximately 50% of the class is taught in the target language and 50% is taught in English. This model helps students excel in both an alphabet based language (English) and a language rooted in a logographic system (Mandarin), where symbols represent words.
The Spanish classes start with a 90/10 instructional model, which means that in kindergarten approximately 90% of the class will be taught in Spanish and 10% will be taught in English. As students move up grades, the ratio of Spanish to English decreases. The Spanish language uses a similar alphabetic system to English so there is a more immediate transfer of instruction between languages.
In both Mandarin and Spanish dual immersion programs, English and target-language dominant students are purposefully integrated to meet various goals including developing bilingual skills, meeting or exceeding state standards, and fostering an appreciation of world languages and cultures.
For additional program information including enrollment procedures for the Spanish dual immersion program at Monterey Hills and the Mandarin dual immersion program at Marengo Elementary, visit http://bit.ly/SPUSDDualLanguage and attend the parent meeting on January 29, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. Translation in Spanish and Mandarin will be provided.
About South Pasadena Unified School District
Established in 1886, the South Pasadena Unified School District (SPUSD) serves approximately 4,800 students within five schools including three elementary schools, one middle school and one comprehensive high school in South Pasadena, California. Nestled in the West San Gabriel Valley, SPUSD has earned a reputation for providing high quality public education, attracting families who value challenging academic programs and outstanding teachers. Consistently recognized for superior performance, SPUSD students earn honors at the local, state and national level. The District draws vital support from parents and community members through the South Pasadena Educational Foundation, local PTAs and booster clubs.