Shand Jaret Blog

Dual Immersion is in Full Swing in Park City Schools

By shandjaret
Aug 12, 2015

Academic Progress

It's hard to believe that Park City is already starting it's 8th year of Dual Language Immersion.  The program, which started in 2008 with Spanish at Parley's Park elementary, was felt so successful that the other elementary schools quickly jumped on board.  With the 2015-16  school year about to take place, the parents and community alike seem very pleased overall with the results. So much so, McPolin Elementary parents voted to have their Spanish Dual Immersion become mandatory.  This requires all existing, as well as any new students arriving from 1st through 4th grades to participate in the program.  The other elementary schools have continued to keep their Dual Immersion Programs optional at this point, with Trailside and Jeremy Ranch teaching French and Parley's Park teaching Spanish. Although studies may not show early growth in academic scores while the students are initially learning the second language, advocates of the program remain confident.  Research consistently shows students that remain in the program ultimately score higher on test scores than non-participating students as they grow older, due to the high "right and left brain activity" that occurs when learning a second language or musical instrument.

Social Progress

Not only are the students' fluency and understanding skills in their second language astonishing, their social skills are soaring as well. Simply walking about at recess you can quickly see students from different backgrounds communicating in both languages with each other.  It really is an incredible experience that is bringing our community closer together as the children rely on one another to reach an understanding of one another.

Keeping the Progress through Middle School and Beyond

As the students are transitioning to Middle School and beyond, the program incorporates high-level language classes that prepare them to pass Advanced Placement tests by 9th grade. They also continue to offer other classes, such as social studies, taught in Spanish, to keep the fluency skills fresh.

For More Information on Utah's Dual Language Immersion Program, Click HERE. 

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