In the Dual Immersion (DI) program, native English-speaking students and native Spanish-speaking students learn together in the same classroom, interacting and developing language skills together. The teachers follow the same standards-based instructional curriculum as the district's English-only classes.
The teachers in our program have special training for Dual Immersion in addition to the state required classroom training. All DI teachers are bilingual and highly qualified in language acquisition, language instruction, state standards and grade level content. The teachers are dedicated, creative and constantly explore new and exciting ways to teach. They are leaders in the integration of technology into the curriculum and have received several awards for their work.
Benefits Beyond a Second Language
The school offers a large bilingual library and a hands-on teaching garden. Art, music, physical education are all part of the school curriculum and are each taught by specialized teachers. Extra-curricular programs such as folkloric dance, chorus, chess club, soccer and others are available on campus. Students also participate in educational field trips and enjoy Mistral's visiting guest speakers, artists and performers.
Program Model & Instructional Time
In this model, 90% of kindergarten instruction is delivered in Spanish, and 10% in English. In first grade, the ratio is 80/20, and in second grade, it is 70/30, until it becomes 50/50 for grades 4 & 5. Students receive simultaneous literacy instruction as they are taught to read in both languages beginning in Kindergarten. In grades 4 and 5 a team-teaching model features an English teacher and a Spanish teacher who partner to teach two classes of students, with a policy of language separation, i.e. teachers must stay in the language of that teaching block without code switching or translating. The 90/10 model has demonstrated equivalent gains for both English for Spanish speakers relative to 50/50 models, and increased gains in Spanish, particularly for native English speakers (Lindholm Leary).
- Bilingualism and Biliteracy: Students develop listening, oral, reading, and writing proficiency in both Spanish and English.
- Academic Excellence: Students achieve academic excellence in all subject areas as they learn educational content in both languages.
- Multicultural Competence: Students develop positive cross-cultural understandings and demonstrate their ability to appreciate the traditions and values of various cultures in our society and around the world.