Learn a Second Language at Speas Global!One of the requirements as an authorized IB World School is to make provisions for students to learn a language, in addition to the language of instruction. Our belief is students become more culturally aware through the development of a second language. We support this requirement by offering our students two pathways to acquire Spanish.Pathway 1 - Spanish as a Special (every class in every grade receives Spanish once a week for 40 minutes)Pathway 2 - Enrollment in a Spanish Dual Language Immersion Classroom (This choice must be made in Kindergarten or First Grade-see why below)What is Spanish Dual Immersion?
At Speas Global, we have a Spanish Dual Language Immersion Program. In dual immersion there are two groups of students involved in the program. Ideally, one half of the students in the program are native speakers of the target language, Spanish, and the other half of the students are native English speakers. The goal in such a program is bilingualism and biliteracy for both groups of students. Current research in North Carolina shows that students in dual immersion programs score at or above the level of their monolingual peers on standardized tests. In addition, this research shows that dual immersion programs can close the achievement gap for all groups of students.
Language immersion programs allow students to learn content such as Math, Science, and Social Studies through another language. At Speas Global Elementary School, Spanish is our target language. Students learn the same content they would in a traditional English only classroom, but they also learn Spanish at the same time. Students in our DLI classrooms are also IB students learning in the same Units of Inquiry as their peers in English-only classrooms by IB trained teachers using IB inquiry-based teaching philosophies. As students progress through the grade levels, their languages skills build so that they are able to continue to learn increasingly complex content through the Spanish language. Through immersion programs, students are able to become bilingual and biliterate, developing high levels of proficiency in the target language (Spanish) as well as high achievement in English Language Arts and other content areas.
Spanish Dual Immersion programs begin in Kindergarten and students acquire the target language, Spanish, through a natural process of language acquisition. At Speas, it is possible to join an immersion class at the beginning of first grade. After the middle of first grade, it is not recommended that students without second language experience enter the DLI program, since they would not have the prior knowledge needed in order to be successful. A student must be able to demonstrate knowledge of the second language in order to enter the program beyond first grade. For the greatest benefit to students' language abilities, it is customary that students who enter the program as Kindergarteners or 1st Graders will remain in the program at Speas Global through fifth grade. In WSFCS, DLI now continues through 8th grade at Paisley Middle School, which also offers the IB's Middle Years Programme.Characteristics of Dual Immersion
Native Spanish and Native English speakers
Bilingualism and biliteracy for both groups
Integration and knowledge of American and Hispanic cultures
Begins in Kindergarten
Bilingual with elementary education license
Division of English and Spanish
More instruction in Spanish in Kindergarten with more English introduced in each grade level;50%/50% English/Spanish in grades 3-5
Instruction is very visual and active; Activities are “hands on”;Teachers ensure language is comprehensible and environment is comfortable
Many visuals and manipulatives;
Texts and other materials in English and Spanish, depending upon language of instruction and availability
For more information about Speas Global’s Spanish Dual Language Immersion program or other immersion programs in WS/FCS, visit www.wsfcs.k12.nc.us/DLI or contact Leslie Baldwin, 336-727-2868 x34250, Lwbaldwin@wsfcs.k12.nc.us