It’s clear that a language program for Kindergarteners is a success after the first year, and that Spanish immersion for Kindergarten is a hit with parents. Children are not only learning a new language, they are being instructed in the language as well.
At the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, the students have finished their first year in the Spanish Immersion Program.. They learned ABCs, numbers, and Spanish.
“My son Daniel didn’t speak a word of Spanish when he started,” said parent Daniel Caccam. “And he just won third place in the Spanish spelling bee.”
The proud parent said his son really likes the Spanish immersion class. They’ll continue next year as the school district adds Spanish to a first grade in both schools.
“We use a 90/10 formula, with the class instruction in Spanish 90 percent of the time and 10 percent in English,” explained Valinda Principal Elizabeth Bermejo.
Every year, English is gradually increased until instructional time reaches half English and half Spanish in the fourth through sixth grades.
Sandra Felix’s son, Raymond Anthony Gomez, did even better in the spelling bee, taking second place.
“He loves the Spanish class, now we even watch the news in Spanish,” said the happy mother, who plans to also enroll her 4-year-old daughter Emily in the dual immersion program.
Los Altos Principal Rosie Sinapi thinks so much of the program, that’s she has enrolled her own daughter in the Spanish class.
“The dual language program stimulates a child’s cognitive, social and linguistic development,” Sinapi noted.
The parents’ enthusiasm encouraged school board members Gino Kwok and Jay Chen. Kwok experienced some resistance from parents at first about the Spanish immersion class.
“We’ve worked very, very hard to build up the dual immersion program,” he said. “I’ve fought every day to promote it at the grassroots level.”