Spanish Immersion Programs


I selected Spanish Immersion Programs as my topic because I wanted to learn more about these programs and thought it would be great to share what I learned with others. Being bilingual/biliterate myself, I do believe this program is beneficial not only to native spanish speakers but also to non-native spanish speakers. As the 2010 U.S. Census reports, hispanics are the largest growing minority group in this country, with this growing number these programs may become essential and beneficial to many.

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Top 5 Things I Learned


1) Spanish Immersion Programs are also referred to as Dual Language Programs and also Two-Way Bilingual Immersion Programs. Although my focus is on the Spanish language, I found that in some of parts of the country these programs consist of languages such as Mandarin, Navajo and French.

2) Two-way bilingual immersion programs are not replacing English with another language, but provide the students the opportunity to acquire a second language.

3) The Spanish Dual Language Programs were initiated to provide native Spanish-speakers the opportunity to receive some content instruction in their native language while they work to develop proficiency in English. Native English-speakers were added to those classes to provide cultural balance and also as an opportunity for those students to develop some Spanish language skills and learn more about the cultures of the Spanish-speaking students.

4) There are currently two immersion models primarily used: 1) 90/10 model - where 90% of the day in K-1st grade is spent in Spanish and 10% is in English then decreases gradually and by the 4th grade they will be at 50/50 until 6th grade. 2) 50/50 model - where 50% of class is in Spanish and the other 50% is in English.

5) There are over 400 million who speak Spanish through out the world, and there are only 350 million people who speak English through out the world.

Resources


If you only have time to watch one video I recommend that you watch the Fiesta Gardens Internationation School Spanish-English Two-Way Immersion & Global Studies from teachertube.com. This video shows a glimpse in less than three minutes of what immersion programs look like through the words of the teachers, parents and students also it gets to the point of what the immersion program is all about. I rate this video at a "5 out of 5" because it provides us with facts and educates us on what the immersion program looks like.



This podcast on NPR.org, by Claudio Sanchez focuses on "Biliterate Education" in the Miami area schools, (biliterate-being able to read and speak in another language;spanish in this case). This podcast gives insight to what Coral Way Elementary has been doing since 1963, bilingual immersion, where class is in Spanish in the morning and English in the afternoon. Many of the students come from lower income households but have the highest test scores in the city of Miami. I give this podcast a "5 out of 5" because it is very informative and goes beyond by letting us know how effective the program has been through their test scores.



This youtube.com video, on Spanish Immersion is about 14 minutes long but is an awesome educational video to watch. If you do not know anything about what Spanish Immersion this is the video to watch. It is based on a school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, yeah that's right where this program is in full swing and non-native spanish are loving this Spanish Immersion program, not only are they learning the language but they are learning the culture at the same time. I rate this video a "5 out of 5" because it shows us the different aspects of working with these students.




A teacher at Flowery Elementary in Sonoma, California posts a video on youtube.com and takes you on a short journey on the importance of being bilingual. She speaks in Spanish but there are English subtitles. Because it is an insparational short video yet informative I give it a "5 out of 5".




This powerpoint I found on Slideshare.net, titled Elementary Spanish Distance Learning, is based on an online program that focuses on teaching students the Spanish language and culture. They fully describe how they will intend to do this by sharing their goals and expectations for students. They highlight the benefits of learning a Spanish as a second language. I rate this powerpoint a "4 out of 5", because they really focused on the goals for students and described what the curriculum would be like, but I'm not sure if it would be as effective as actually being in a classroom.




Although this video I found of pbs.org focuses on an immersion program in Chinese and also located in China, but it clearly displays how other languages are using the immersion program to learn the language and culture. I think it's important that everyone see that Dual-Language Programs are not just offered in Spanish but in other languages here in the United States and throughout the world. This is why I give this video a "5 out of 5" because we can see the students struggle at first but then by the 4th grade they are caught up or even have surpassed their peers.




I thought it would be a little fun and share a video that will help you learn your colors in Spanish. If you watch it enough times I think you can learn them. I found this video on teachertube.com, here the teacher engages the students by using movement and music which makes it fun for student. Good luck learning your colors! I give this video a "5 out of 5" because the teacher actively engages these students in learning.




Last But Not Least
I leave you guys with this eye opening video I got from youtube.com, originally from Univision, which is the largest Spanish television network in the United States. It's amazing to see the statistics pointed out in the video. My hope is that when others see this piece that they open up to the idea of Spanish-English Immersion Programs. I give this video a "6 out of 5", because I totally relate to the video and makes me proud of my heritage and also makes me proud of being an american citizen.