Community, Music Magnet and Dual Language School
Dual Language Immersion – Developing Brilliant Bilingual and Bi-literate Scholars
Like the rest of Hillcrest Elementary and Music Magnet, our dual language Spanish immersion program stands apart from other dual language programs. For one, unlike most dual language programs in the district that are 50/50 or 90/10 (percent instruction in target language/percent instruction in English), Hillcrest adheres to a 70/30 model.
The rationale for this when the program was developed was to be responsive to parent/community concerns about 90/10 models being too much for the approximately 110 students participating in the program and that their academic achievement in English, especially standardized testing performance, would suffer. At the same time, the 70/30 model provides an immersive language experience that, contrary to parents fears, results in bilingual and bi-literate youngsters early and which research suggests actually results in higher performance in English.
The other big difference in our dual language approach is that our teachers are both the Spanish language model and the English model for their students. This contrasts with the traditional practice of separate teachers being the monolingual English or Spanish models for students. Our rationale for this is based on sound language acquisition science: interacting with a bilingual and bi-literate language model is the most intuitive and effortless way that children grow to be bilingual and bi-literate.
We marvel at our scholars who, starting the program in kindergarten, are fluent and literate in both English and Spanish by the time they graduate from 5th grade, and because of this, score higher on standardized achievement tests. Our dual language program helps produce scholars who are brilliant!