Spanish Immersion

Why Spanish Immersion?

Gilbert Elementary offers families the unique opportunity to enroll their children in a dual language program in kindergarten through 5th grade.  This program allows students the advantage of learning their grade level content in two languages, English and Spanish.  The focus of the program is to develop culturally responsive, active learners who are intellectually challenged and engaged.  

What is Dual Language?

Dual language is a bilingual education model that uses English and a partner language (Spanish at Gilbert) for 50% of instructional time.  These programs generally begin in kindergarten and roll up one grade level per year.  A clear separation of languages is essential with a commitment to stay in the target language and encourage students to use that target language during target language time as well.  Having a clear articulation of the program will also ensure its success.  

The Dual Language Philosophy 

Dual language at GPS will prepare students for full participation in the global economy.  Using the research-based dual language instructional model, participating students develop proficiency in two languages while learning grade-level academic content.

Program Benefits

Students that participate in dual language programs receive additional benefits in the following areas.

Enhanced Cognitive SkillsBy being immersed in two languages throughout the academic school day, dual language students develop 3-4 strong modalities (learning styles), similar to gifted students.  Dual language students develop cognitive flexibility, demonstrating increased attention control, better memory, and superior problem-solving skills as well as an enhanced understanding of their primary language.  

Strong Second Language Skills:  Dual language students graduate their programs being bilingual, bi-literate in two languages.

Global Economy Participation:
This program model is the only one that allows for students to reach levels of language proficiency needed for full participation in the global economy.

Enhanced Cultural Sensitivity:
Culture and language are interrelated.  Therefore, students participating in the dual language program develop intercultural competence, meaning they learn to use language appropriately in different cultural contexts. Students become adept at accepting and becoming comfortable with others' differences.

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