Sandpiper Elementary School offers a bilingual immersion program

Dual language immersion programs are increasingly popular in the United States. So if you want your child to be able to speak two languages, Sandpiper Elementary School’s Spanish Language Immersion Program can help you make it happen!

Sandpiper Elementary School’s Spanish language immersion program is designed to help children become bilingual, illiterate and bicultural. From kindergarten to sixth grade, students learn academic content in English and Spanish and develop cross-cultural skills.

“It’s important to know that a bilingual immersion program is a long-term commitment for students and parents to fully see student academic and fluency outcomes,” says Jessie Kinney-Alcazar, director of the Sandpiper Elementary School. “Sandpiper’s program offers students the opportunity to develop their Spanish skills and learn academic content in an immersive environment taught by native Spanish-speaking teachers and staff.”

About the school day

Students spend half their day learning in English and the other half learning in Spanish. A group of students spend their mornings learning in Spanish, while another group of students are learning classes in English. Students change teachers and receive instruction in two different languages ​​throughout the day.

Sandpiper Elementary School offering a bilingual immersion program Sandpiper_6th_Grade_2-1024x576
Sandpiper Elementary School Spanish Immersion Sixth-grade students practice their Spanish conversation skills. (Photo courtesy of Paradise Valley Unified School District)

Benefits of a Bilingual Language Immersion Program

Research attests to the development of academic achievement and language proficiency by students who attend language immersion programs. Studies have also shown that students achieve higher levels of language proficiency in the immersion program, develop greater cognitive flexibility, increased attention control, better memory, and superior problem-solving skills.

  • Students develop full fluency in speaking, reading and writing in two languages.
  • Not only do students achieve similar or higher levels than their peers enrolled in other programs on standardized English reading and math tests, but they can also read and write at grade level in another language.
  • Students in a bilingual program develop very positive attitudes towards students from other linguistic and cultural backgrounds and positive attitudes towards themselves as learners.

How parents can help their child

There are many ways for parents to support their child’s academic efforts in a bilingual immersion program.
Ask your child to teach you Spanish.

  • Invite and form groups within the school community and organize activities that develop friendships between students and parents.
  • Encourage your child to take risks by speaking and writing the second language.
  • Celebrate your child’s accomplishments.
  • Attend parent education workshops on bilingual immersion programs.
  • Support your child’s language and literacy development in two languages, as well as their emerging cross-cultural appreciation. This can be accomplished by introducing your child to books and films in both languages, attending cultural festivals, and providing opportunities for authentic language exchanges.
  • Provide students with the opportunity to read in English and Spanish.

Learning Spanish and English simultaneously gives kids a competitive edge when applying for colleges and jobs later in life. What are you waiting for? Plan your visit to Sandpiper Elementary today!

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