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Spanish Immersion

The Spanish Immersion program is a program of choice that serves both English and Spanish learners. This program is open to students of different backgrounds and abilities from the PAUSD school community.

The Spanish Immersion program is a type of bilingual education for acquiring two languages by integrating native English speakers and native Spanish speakers in content and literacy instruction in both languages. Standard school subjects are taught in one of two languages. Language is acquired and developed by using it as a means for instruction and not the object of instruction.  In this manner, students become fluent and literate in both English and Spanish, while they follow the same curriculum that is taught only in English in non-immersion classes.

Goals of the Spanish Immersion Program

The goals of the Spanish Immersion program are bilingualism and biliteracy, high levels of academic achievement in both languages, and positive cross-cultural attitudes. Considerable research states that the benefits of the Immersion Bilingual Program are educational, cognitive, sociocultural, and economic (Calderon & Carreon, 2000; Cloud et al., 2000)

·      Bilingualism and biliteracy: Development of high levels of proficiency in the student’s first language and in the second language.

·      High academic achievement: Perform at or above grade level in academic areas in both languages.

·      Positive cross-cultural attitudes: Demonstrate positive cross-cultural attitudes and behaviors, and high levels of self-esteem.

To accomplish its goals, the program follows a unique instructional design in which Spanish-speaking and English-speaking students are combined in the same classroom, with at least one-third of the students being native speakers of each language. These students will serve as language models to the other students as they acquire the languages. Escondido follows an 90/10 Spanish Immersion model.  This model emphasizes the use of Spanish in the early grades to provide a solid foundation for future academics.  In kindergarten, 90% of classroom instruction is in Spanish.  Instruction in English increases to 30% in the 3rd grade. By 5th grade, approximately half of the schoolwork is done in each language.