"Monolingualism just might define illiteracy in the 21st century"
Teaching Students Preschool to Pre-Kindergarten
We offer a full Chinese/Spanish immersion program for children who are 3 and 4 years old. At IFS, this means that our early childhood students will spend up to 75% of their day in either Mandarin or Spanish 5 days per week.
Our students learn Chinese/Spanish through play-based, exploratory lessons, and constant and continual conversation. The Chinese/Spanish language arts learning objectives are embedded in everything the students do, allowing for explicit language learning through developmentally appropriate and enriching days.
Teaching Students Kindergarten through 5th grade.
Students in K-5th grade learn all subjects in both English and their target language, equalling out to a 45/45 ratio between the two languages. To do this, students are split into two small paired classes, and alternate between their English and Target Language subjects, so that in a two way period, students had equal time in their two languages. This methodology is a sure-fire way to ensure full bi-literacy across subjects. We will adopt a rigorous curriculum with "bridges" in between subject matter so that the student is always supported, considered, and given whatever they need to succeed. In addition, the 10% of instructional time is in the third language. This ways students become bi-literate in two languages with strong listening and speaking skills in the 3rd language.
Benefits of Dual Language Learning:
The Benefits of Dual-Language learning are widespread and lifelong. It improves executive functioning by increasing attention, spatial-awareness, better ability to discern meaning and better memory. It improves cognitive reserve to last a lifetime. Bilingual people have lower risks of alzheimer's disease and dementia in their later years. Recent studies show that students enrolled in 6 year dual-language programs have been more academically successful in English literacy, math and science than their monolingual peers.
The research is ample and descriptive. Here are some starting websites: