Immersion programs open up a whole new world for students – American Press

By Emily Burleigh

The parish of Calcasieu School District offers both French and Spanish immersion programs to local students.

Immersion education is a teaching method that produces a high degree of proficiency in the chosen second language.

In these programs, elementary students spend 60% of their time with a certified world language instructor and 40% with an English teacher. Math, science and social studies are taught in the second language. This form of education allows students to make a synthesis between the study of foreign languages ​​and traditional education.

The academic benefits of immersion programs speak for themselves. Students who participate in immersion programs surpass the non-immersion peers on standardized tests, regardless of background or cognitive or linguistic abilities. These data extend from the third to the terminal.

Some parents worry about their children taking standardized English tests after learning a second language. Global Language and ESL Consultant Monique Roberts says learning a second language actually improves scores.

“These students are high achievers and do very well on LEAP,” Roberts said.

Some of the skills students will learn during immersion education are: increased vocabulary, strengthened grammar in both languages, and increased fluency in studying English.

To participate, students must start early. “For immersion, they must enter at the beginning of primary school. Kindergarten is ideal, because three subjects are taught in this language,” she explained. “You can’t launch a third grader into math after they’ve never been exposed to vocabulary.”

“Research shows that an older student can learn a second language just as easily as a younger child. However, social factors come into play,” Roberts said. “Between schoolyou struggle to get students to express themselves openly and be vulnerable in that second language.

One of the primary goals of second language learning is to create expansive cultural awareness for students in Calcasieu Parish.

“We don’t just teach the language, but we also teach the culture,” Roberts said. “We expose students to different thoughts and parts of the world. We teach customs and cultures so different from ours.

Examples include a global culture day at FK White Middle, a party day at Fairview Elementary, and a immersion celebration at Henry Heights Elementary School.

The parish of Calcasieu participates in an exchange of teachers program through the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana (CODOFIL) and the Louisiana Department of Education.

“They work together to recruit those certified teachers from their countries who have successfully taught that level or content for at least three years,” Roberts explained.

Exchange teachers come from countries such as France, Belgium, Africa and Canada for teaching in French, and Spain, Mexico and South America for teaching in Spanish.

Fairview Elementary offers an innovative 2-way system Immersion Program. “This is a brand new warning to immersion, while half of the students are native Spanish speakers and half of the students are native English speakers,” Roberts said. “Part of the day is totally in Spanish and part of the day is totally in English.”

This programwhich started 3 years ago with kindergarten and first grade students, allows Spanish-speaking students to fully experience English lessons, and vice versa.

“Students serve as language models for each other. It’s a beautiful thing.

Roberts explained that one of school The council’s goals are to have more English-speaking children in Fairview.

“Fairview Elementary does not appear to be a very successful facility school according to their rank, but they are our site school for English learners,” Roberts explained. “All children who only speak Spanish, maybe even from the 4th grade, will register and have to take the same tests.”

Roberts wants Calcasieu families to know that Fairview is doing a phenomenal job with their immersion program and their English learners.

Environment school immersion students will receive a total of 2 high school credits; one in 7th grade and one in 8th grade. Once students have reached the level schoolthey then have the opportunity to become eligible for dual enrollment credits.

For McNeese, an AP test score of 3 or 4 will result in credits for French or Spanish 101, 102 and 201. An AP score of 5 will constitute credits for classes 101 to 301. This will put the student a separate class. of a foreign language minor.

CLEP test scores of 50 to 62 will give credit for French or Spanish 101 and 102, while scores of 63 and above will give students credit for courses up to 202.

Immersion students also have the opportunity to earn the Louisiana Seal of Biliteracy after successfully completing 4 years of high school world language courses.

Immersion programs fill up quickly, so it is suggested that parents register their children by March for the following year. Applications must be submitted to their primary school of choice.

However, there are still openings at Fairview Elementary, Henry Heights Elementary, and Oak Park Elementary.

Out-of-zone students may receive a permit to attend schools with immersion programs. Parents are responsible for providing transportation. If your child is selected, an out-of-area application must be submitted to Child Welfare and Attendance by May 31.


French Immersion Programs:

Henry Heights Elementary School

Gillis Elementary School

Prien Lake Primary School

Average Welsh SJ

Moss Bluff Middle

High Beard School

Sam Houston High School School


Spanish Immersion Programs:

Elemental Frasch

Oak Park Elementary School

Fairview Elementary School

Oak Park Middle

WW Lewis Midfielder

high sulfur School

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