Dual Language Immersion Program

Cultivating a Lifelong Love of Language Learning

APS currently offers elementary and secondary Dual Language Immersion (Spanish-English) for students at four option schools: Claremont or Key (Elementary), Gunston (Middle), and Wakefield (High). The program is designed to benefit both Spanish speakers and non-Spanish speakers.

About Dual Language Immersion

Dual Language Immersion is an educational model in which students develop high levels of speaking, reading, writing, and listening in English and Spanish. Teachers deliver the same core APS curriculum content and standards as traditional classroom teachers, while providing instruction in two languages.

The main difference between an immersion setting and a more traditional Spanish or foreign language class offered at APS is the approach to second-language learning. In an immersion program, students learn the core curriculum through the lens of an additional language. By contrast, in a traditional Spanish language class, the language itself is the subject of instruction.

Program Goals

Immersion goals: Bilingualism & biliteracy, cross-cultural competence, high academic achievementThe goals of the APS Dual Language Immersion Program are to:

  • Develop bilingualism and biliteracy in English and Spanish, while learning the core APS curriculum
    • For fifth grade elementary school students, the goal is to reach the Intermediate low range of proficiency based on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Performance Guidelines.
    • For eight grade middle school students, the goal is to reach the intermediate mid-high range of proficiency based on ACTFL Performance Guidelines.
    • For graduating 12th grade students, the goal is to receive the Seal of Biliteracy, which certifies attainment of a high level of proficiency by a graduating high school student in one or more languages in addition to English.
  • Promote high academic achievement for all students
  • Foster cultural competency and caring, supportive cross-cultural relationships

Inside the Classroom

APS dual immersion students comprise both heritage Spanish speakers and non-Spanish speakers. Ideally, there is an even balance, so that students learn from each other. Students spend a portion of their day in a Spanish-language classroom learning math, Spanish reading/writing, science and music or art, and the other portion of the day learning reading, writing, and other subjects in English. The students receive lessons from two teachers; one providing academic instruction in English, and the other providing academic instruction in Spanish.

Teachers are native or near-native speakers of the target language. By learning the core APS curriculum in another language, students gain high levels of proficiency in both English and Spanish.