A dual language kindergarten is giving children the advantage of being bilingual and multicultural.

Bilingual and MulticulturalAt the end of the day in Sara Diaz’s class at Parrish School in Carbondale students were restless after hours of learning.  “Ojos a la maestra,” Diaz said – “Eyes on the teacher.”

Students looked up at her, wide eyed. “They are tired at the end of the day because their brain is working so hard,” she said. “They feel good.”

The two way immersion program fosters bilingual skills among students in kindergarten through fifth grade by exposing them to instruction in both Spanish and English. Kindergartners and first graders receive 90 percent of instruction in Spanish and 10 percent in English. Second and third graders receive 80 percent Spanish instruction; and fourth and fifth graders 50 percent.

The goal is to help students become global citizens, according to Superintendent Mike Shimshak.  “My vision is bilingualism for all of our students,” he said. “I think that’s an important part of developing intercultural competency.”

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