Dual Language Immersion Program » Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I enroll my child in the Dual Language Immersion Program?   Intellectual: Bilingual students show greater cognitive flexibility that transfers into academic success
Social: Our diverse world represents many languages and cultures
Economic: Increased demand for bilingual employees throughout the world
Why not wait for my child to learn a second language in middle & high school?   The Critical Period Theory explains that the brain easily acquires second (and more) languages before puberty, while middle and high school foreign language programs address language learning after the onset of puberty, skipping the developmental stages of the early years and reducing the opportunities for natural language acquisition.
Will a second language interfere with my child's English ability?   No. The research was done by Cummins (1981), Lambert, Genesee, Holobow, and Chartrand (1993) emphasizing that students who acquire advanced levels of proficiency in two languages often experience cognitive and linguistic advantages when compared to monolingual students. Bilingual students perform better on tasks that require divergent thinking, pattern recognition, and problem-solving and have enhanced levels of metalinguistic awareness (Adams, 1990).
Do dual language immersion students learn the same curriculum as the regular English-only programs?   Yes. The standards and curriculum used in the Dual Language Immersion Program are the same as for all students in the San Jacinto Unified School District. The only difference is the language of instruction.
Does it matter if no one at home speaks the second language?   No. English must be continually developed and supported in the home. Read to your children daily! Continue the literacy experiences you would naturally encourage. One of the advantages of this program is that students with strong English succeed well. Children often start to apply the literacy skills, which they have learned in the first language to the second language.
How will my child understand if s/he does not speak the second language?   Teachers in the Dual Language Immersion Program are specially trained to make the information meaningful through the use of visuals, objects, gestures, and specialized instructional strategies. Students also will help each other.
How can parents support their child in the program?   Participate. Keep up the high-quality English and/or Spanish at home. Read with your child in English and/or Spanish daily. Discuss what your child is learning. Listen to him/her read. Try to learn along with your child. Attend Dual Immersion meetings at Megan Cope Elementary.
When will my child become fluent in both languages?   Each child is developmentally unique, so the fluency will also develop individually. You will be informed on a regular basis of your child's oral fluency progress. You will also be informed regularly of your child's academic progress. Keeping the communication line between you and your child's teacher is the best resource to find out how well your child is doing.