Learning in two languages is one way to ensure that students become fluent in both their native language and a second language
The dual language immersion program at Jefferson Elementary School in the Jerome School District has just gotten underway this year. Students as young as kindergarten are mixing Spanish and English 50-50
Academically, school officials say that there are many benefits to dual immersion. Students get a boost with critical thinking skills and preparation for the global economy. Children in many countries grow up learning multiple languages and being instructed in them in school.
“Being bi-literate is truly an advantage academically and economically for kids,” said Angie Brulotte, principal at Jefferson Elementary.
In dual immersion programs, research shows that children sometimes struggle with reading and writing until third grade. Later they surpass their peers.
“The biggest benefit is critical thinking,” said Janet Avery, Jerome School District curriculum director.