Language Immersion Program
Language immersion is an exciting option for parents who want their children to have the advantages of a rigorous academic program, while also learning a second language. It transforms the heart, molds the mind and develops an ability to interact with our world. However, at Hickory Grove Christian School, the primary objective of a language immersion program is to enhance the tools that we want our children to have to effectively communicate the Gospel to the world around them.
What is Immersion Learning?
Language Immersion students acquire the necessary language skills to understand and communicate about the content that is outlined in the skill set inventories for each grade level. Students will follow the same curricula, and in some instances, use the same materials (translated into Spanish) as those used in the non-immersion classes. Your child will learn to read the second language first and over time will make a smooth transition to the deeper concepts of the first language.
What are the goals of the immersion program?
Hickory Grove Christian School Language immersion class will have four immersion-related goals:
- To develop a Gospel Centered, heart for the nations by immersing in the language and learning the culture.
- To achieve competency in the second language (listening, speaking, reading and writing)
- To acquire the same English language arts skills as students in English-only classroom.
- To master content areas.
Why should I consider enrolling my child in an immersion program?
Immersion programs are one of the most effective and efficient means of learning a foreign language. Most immersion students can be expected to reach higher levels of second language proficiency than students in other school-based language programs. This is accomplished at a much younger age. Children are language sponges, and numerous studies have shown that immersion into a foreign language at an early age is the best way to ensure future fluency.
Because our students will be bilingual early in life, they will be able to not only effectively communicate with people in our context, but will have developed their mind in such a way that they can process language (English and possibly a third language) better at an earlier age. This allows for increases in many academic areas, not just in the target language.
If you want your child to develop the skills necessary to interact competently in an increasingly interdependent world community, then you should consider the language immersion program offered for the rising K5 class at Hickory Grove Christian.
What are the effects of immersion education?
A growing body of research on immersion education has shown that immersion students consistently meet or exceed academic expectations in the following areas:
1. Second language skills:
- Immersion students typically outperform students in traditional foreign language classes.
- Immersion students are functionally proficient in the immersion language and are able to communicate according to their age and grade level.
- Immersion students build a strong second language base which enables them to continue moving toward full proficiency and to develop further proficiency in subsequent languages.
2. English language skills:
- By the end of elementary school, immersion students typically do as well or better than students in English-only classes.
3. Content areas:
- Immersion students achieve in academic areas at a similar rate as students in English-only programs.
- Immersion students develop problem-solving skills, which leads to consistent high achievement in mathematics beginning at an earlier age.
- The achievement of immersion students in other content areas is at least equal and many times exceeds students in English-only programs.
4. Cultural sensitivity:
- Immersion students are more aware of and show positive attitudes towards other cultures.
What can I do to support my child’s immersion experience if I don’t speak the second language?
It is not required that you know 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 child’s academic, social, and language development. In addition, parents should become well informed about immersion education, make a commitment to keep their child in the immersion program, and support their child’s use of the immersion language outside the school context, for example, by providing reading materials in the immersion language at home.
How do I learn more?
Contact our Elementary Office (704) 531-4195