Questions About Language Immersion Learning
What Is Language Immersion?
Language immersion programs teach students all subjects in a language other than the dominant language spoken in the community. In every SLLIS elementary school 100 percent of instruction is conducted in the immersion language.
When Will Students Learn English?
Students first learn to read and write in the immersion language and then learn to read and write in English. Typically, formal English language education will begin midway through second grade and continue through fifth grade.
Is Prior Knowledge Of The Immersion Language Required To Enter The School?
No. It is expected that the majority of students will come from English-only speaking households. The immersion program is designed to teach children who do not have any prior immersion language knowledge.
How Will My Child Respond To Total Immersion?
Research shows that young children adjust well to immersion settings, especially when surrounded by peers facing the same challenge.
Also, the developing minds of children acquire language rapidly, allowing them to easily identify and reproduce sounds that don’t exist in their native language. Total immersion schools such as SLLIS take full advantage of this natural language acquisition.
How Long Will It Take For My Child To Become Fluent In The Immersion Language?
We use the natural language acquisition method. Students in our schools develop their new language in a predictable pattern like they did their language at birth: silence, babbling, one word, two words, memorized phrases, then original expression. During the first 18 months of immersion teachers expect students to developing this pattern of language production and expect that students will speak English and add more new words as they progress. After 18 months, each school has a language celebration where every child is expected to communicate entirely in the immersion language all day. Some students will reach this level much sooner than 18 months, but we allow for everyone to reach their language explosion before requiring complete language use.
Will Language Immersion Students Be Able To Attend Traditional American Schools Later?
Language immersion students successfully transition to all-English school environments. Each SLLIS school meets or exceeds both state and federal content expectations.