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Dual Language and Immersion Programs

One of the greatest gifts you can give your child is the gift of multiple languages.

  • Bilingualism increases brain cognition by utilizing the highest levels of thinking, focus, and awareness.
  • Bilingual children who are educated in their second language have been seen to outperform single language children in their native language.  
  • Bilingual and dual-language programs are one way to help children become bilingual or to maintain their languages.

What's the difference?

Dual Language Programs

Students are taught in two languages over the course of the school day.
 
One-way dual language programs
All students enrolled in the program speak the same native language and receive dual instruction in the same target language 
 

Two-way dual language programs Students in the program speak two different native languages and instruction is in both of these languages.

How does it work?
Students learn to read first in their dominant language then they have equal Language Arts blocks in Spanish and English. Math is in English and Social Studies and Science are in Spanish. In two-way dual language programs, interacting daily with students who are native speakers of the target language helps increase fluency and comprehension.

Language immersion Programs

Students are taught primarily in the target (non-native) language. 
 
Immersion is  a one-way language learning program
All students are monolingual or dominant in English at the time of enrollment. 
 
How does it work?
The process of “immersing” students in another language for classroom learning allows students to naturally learn the target language. Teachers in immersion classrooms are either native speakers of the target language or demonstrate near-native proficiency. Since students begin the process in early elementary school, their brains are physiologically primed for language learning and they learn the second language proficiently with a near-native accent.
 

Dual Language Program

Small boy with wooden toy at Dual Language Academy
Participating Schools

We offer dual language programs at seven schools throughout the district. Our Dual Language Academy is a two-way language program comprising 50% Spanish dominant students and 50% English dominant students.

Students enrolled in our one-way dual language programs at Springdale, Sequoyah, Kendall Whittier and Skelly are 100% Spanish dominant and are taught in Spanish as they work toward becoming fluent in English.

Tulsa Public Schools is also home to two immersion schools focused on providing students learning content in different languages. Students at Zarrow International School has programming taught entirely in Spanish while Eisenhower International offers immersion programs in both Spanish and French.

Dual language instruction

We use the Gomez and Gomez Dual Language Enrichment model in all dual language schools. Students learn to read first in their dominant language (pre-K - 1st) then they have equal language arts blocks in Spanish and English. Math is in English (pre-K - 5th) and Social Studies and Science are in Spanish (pre-K - 5th). 

Content Area Pre-K - 1st 2nd-5th  Time 
Reading/Language Arts  Native Language Spanish &  English 90-120 minutes 
Science Spanish Spanish 45 minutes
Social Studies  Spanish Spanish 45 minutes
Math English English 90 minutes

 

Why the Dual Language Immersion Approach Will Change Achievement in American Schools by American Councils for International Education

Dual Language Programs

The term dual language refers to any program that provides literacy and content instruction to all students through two languages and that promotes bilingualism and biliteracy, grade-level academic achievement, and sociocultural competence - a term encompassing identity development, cross-cultural competence, and multicultural appreciation - for all students.

Two-Way Program

Two young girls learning at Dual Language Academy

School

Dual Language Academy

Two-Way Program Design:

  • The two-way dual language program includes approximately equal numbers of students who are monolingual or dominant in English at the time of enrollment and students who are monolingual or dominant in the partner language at the time of enrollment. There may also be students who have proficiency in both languages at the time of enrollment.
  • Teachers engage students in active participation activities requiring responses in the target languages. Hands-on classroom projects provide additional opportunities for students to use the target language. Teachers use a reciprocal-interactive approach and cooperative learning techniques to encourage students to interact with one another in the second languages.
  • Through bilingual pair activities and bilingual centers, students will develop academic vocabulary in all core subjects in both languages. All students receive instruction in music, p.e. and art. These “specials” are taught in English.

Dual Language Academy creates the opportunity for all children to be bilingual and creates endless opportunities for new experiences. Proud Parent

One-Way Programs

One way program  (Neighborhood Schools)

  • Skelly
  • Springdale
  • Kendall Whittier
  • Sequoyah

The one way dual language programs in Tulsa Public Schools are geared toward students that predominately speak Spanish at home. Our goal is for all students to become bilingual, biliterate and bicultural by 5th grade. In other words, students will read, write, and relate well with others in both languages. Research shows that English Learner students in the dual language program achieve higher test scores than students in English only classrooms. Through this program, students are able to strengthen and build upon their home language while also developing their English.

My friends and relatives often compliment me on how well my children communicate in Spanish.  Proud parent

The dual language program was not around when my daughter started school. She does not read or write in Spanish and prefers to speak mostly in English. But after years in the dual language program, my son is able to read documents in both languages and communicates very well to all of our family members. He helps me so much and I'm really proud of that. Proud parent

 

 


 

Language Full Immersion

Boy and girl in class at Dual Language Academy

Language immersion is the an effective method for developing second-language ability with young learners in a school environment. Immersion refers to one-way dual language programs whose students are all monolingual or dominant in English at the time of enrollment. 

The process of “immersing” students in another language for classroom learning allows students to naturally learn the target language. Teachers for immersion classrooms are either native speakers of the target language, or demonstrate near-native proficiency. Since students begin the process at an early age (5 or 6), their brains are physiologically primed for language learning. Students learn the second language proficiently and with a near-native accent.

Is Language Immersion Right for My Child by Heather Singmaster

Participating Schools

Eisenhower International School

Eisenhower International students examine flowers in their outdoor classroom

At Eisenhower International, students participate in either French or Spanish immersion. They begin the process with a full-day kindergarten program that exposes students to all of the required kindergarten learning objectives in one of the two "target languages". This full immersion approach continues until the mid-point of second grade, at which time English reading/language arts is introduced into the curriculum for about an hour each day. The English portion of the curriculum is gradually increased in third grade, and reaches a 50/50 balance in grade five. 

Creating responsible, global citizens through language immersion and international exchanges.


 

Content Area K - 2nd grade 3th - 4th grade 5th grade 
Reading/Language Arts French or Spanish / English is introduced midway in 2nd grade 90% French or Spanish / 10% English  50% French or Spanish & 50% English 
Math, Science, & Social Studies  French or Spanish

90% French or Spanish / 10% English 

50% French or Spanish & 50% English 

Zarrow International School

Zarrow International School student

At Zarrow International School, students participate in Spanish immersion. They begin the process with a full-day kindergarten program that exposes students to all of the required kindergarten learning objectives in Spanish. This full immersion approach continues until the mid-point of second grade, at which time English reading/language arts is introduced into the curriculum for about an hour each day. The English portion of the curriculum is gradually increased in third grade, and reaches a 50/50 balance in grade five. 

Student standing next to teacher who won the golden apple award

We will provide and assist each student with a well-rounded and differentiated education that is centered around the immersion of the Spanish language and cultures to prepare them for a more global society.

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Kids paying attention in class
Bilingual learners receiving accelerated learning through their two languages develop socioculturally, linguistically, cognitively, and academically through each language.  Thomas W.P. & Collier V.P. 
Young girls showing off home-made stove pipe hats at Springdale Elementary.

Parent Tips

  • Read with your child everyday in the language(s) you are most comfortable with.
  • Share family stories with your child.
  • Encourage your child to write at home (grocery lists, letters, etc.).
  • The more you are able to build up your child’s first language, the better they will perform academically in their second language.

Dual-Language Programs Boost Student Achievement in English, Study Finds
By Corey Mitchell