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Benefits of Spanish Two-Way Immersion Programs

Two-way immersion programs are becoming increasingly popular in many states where Spanish-speaking students are part of the student population. Dual-immersion programs are those curriculums that integrate Spanish and English into subjects like language arts, science, math, and social studies.

What are Spanish Two-Way Immersion Programs?

Two-way immersion programs are great for children between ages four to seven since learning is like play for them. Many programs carry out various ways to learn Spanish and English. However, an array of methods to teach both languages can consist of poetry, science experiments, cultural games, and puppet shows.

Since dual-immersion programs for children in many public school systems are turning to the way English Language Learners (ELLs) students learn, it is also a way for many English-speaking students to learn about a foreign language. Two-way immersion programs develop to meet the multicultural need in schools.

More than 2000 schools have adopted an immersion program in school. California implemented “a seal of biliteracy” to allow students to gain knowledge in Spanish or another language before graduation. So far, 6000 students have received this achievement.

two-way immersion programs

Benefits of School Programs

The curriculum designed in the District of Lawrence Township in Indianapolis applies for the dual and full immersion programs in Spanish and English. Since many students lack the language skills to succeed, it is important for bilingual teachers to support basic skills in literacy and reading.

After entering the program, they are able to raise their skill score by 12 and 6 percent both in language and math subjects, respectively.

Another successful dual immersion program is the Far Rockaway, New York school systems called “Nuestros Amigos”. The two-way immersion program provides English in one part of the day and Spanish another part of the day. Different teachers teach each subject.

As teachers instruct Spanish in one classroom, another teacher supports ELL students in another classroom in English. In fact, block schedules help in monitoring progress between classes, which it is easy to check language learning. For the Spanish instruction, students use textbooks and materials in Spanish as well as for instructions and labels. For English, the same is implemented.

Lessons and Curriculum Development

Lessons are planned in sequential way. One day the lesson is taught in English, and then the next day the following lesson is taught in Spanish. Success of programs is mostly due to administrative support that encourages professional development and career growth. Also, high parental involvement increases the chances of program success.

Many young children benefit from early learning of a two-way immersion program. They are proficient in English and Spanish. In a two-way immersion program, children can learn various topics. Instructional experience for teachers is challenging, yet it integrates students into the programs.

Some experts argue that finding bilingual teachers is difficult. But the great benefit is ELL students increase in language skills. When parental involvement is the main focus, it increases the chances of a program to succeed. Another benefit of the program is it provides a cultural awareness background. Also, it increases a student’s cognitive development.

As dual immersion programs in Spanish and English continue in the school system, many bilingual children will learn English and Spanish at the same time.

Barbara Mascareno

Barbara is an educational writer, teacher, and instructional designer. She loves to write K-12 education content, teaching strategies, bilingual education approaches, and foreign language.

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