What are the criteria for students to be in a two-way immersion program?
There are no specific criteria for students except parental choice.
Should students enter an immersion program after first grade?
Usually two-way programs do not accept English-only speakers after first grade and English learners after second grade. Bilingual and biliterate students can enter the program at any time.
Can you include English learners of a language other than Spanish in a Spanish/English two-way bilingual immersion program?
English learners in a Spanish/English two-way bilingual immersion program should be Spanish speakers. However, speakers of other languages who are proficient in either Spanish or English could be eligible for enrollment in the program
What can I do to support my child’s immersion experience if I don’t speak the second language?
Like all parents, parents of children in immersion programs should maintain an active role in their children’s education by providing experiences that help develop their English language skills and enhance their cognitive and affective development. Parents should read with children daily in English and engage them in activities where they need to apply what they are learning in class. Parents should also communicate with the teachers on a regular basis about their children’s’ academic, social, and language development. They should become well informed about immersion education, make a commitment to keep their child in the immersion program, and support their children’s use of the immersion language outside the school context, for example, by providing reading materials in the immersion language at home.
What common issues should I expect and how do I handle them?
Be prepared for the fact that your child will initially be confused and even frustrated. They will likely be very tired at the end of the day, as language learning is cognitively demanding. This reaction is very normal for first- time immersion learners and can last from two weeks to two months depending on the child’s age and basic language ability. Children are generally very resilient and will soon feel comfortable with the second language.