The Department of Spanish Language Immersion
Department Philosophy: “Monolingualism Can Be Cured.” Through the learning of language we build on and affirm cultural, linguistic, intellectual and personal identities. Knowledge of several languages empowers individuals by opening economic and social opportunities. It promotes tolerance and diversity as well as solidarity within our global community. Language learning allows us to bridge cultural barriers and promote ways of interpreting our diverse world while stimulating intellectual curiosity. Furthermore, our work at the elementary level is to help students build literacy skills in two languages. We want our students to be college, career and world-ready!
Lead With languages Campaign: Lead With Languages is the national campaign for languages sponsored by The American Council on Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). This will be a long-term effort to raise public awareness about the importance of learning languages and understanding cultures in the lives of all Americans. Click here for more information
The goals of the Spanish Language Immersion Program are to:
- Ensure that our children are truly bilingual
- Develop strong literacy skills in both English and Spanish
- Provide students with the academic language to clearly communicate their thoughts and opinions
- Develop the 21st century skills of communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity
- Prepare them to live, work and thrive in a global community
According to research, one can define several advantages associated with immersion programs. These advantages include:
- A greater measure of cognitive flexibility and creative/divergent thinking skills
- Development of more intense listening skills
- Transfer skills in many curriculum areas. Vocabulary development in English is especially enhanced by learning a romance language at any early age
- Development of fluency in a world language in a natural setting, with fluency being the by-product
- Development of a greater degree of cross-cultural acceptance through the understanding that the diverse peoples of the world speak diverse languages, and that learning a world language can bring us in touch with the world around us in a very personal way
An Overview of the Language Immersion Program at Denton Avenue Elementary School (K-5)
Students begin their day either in English or in Spanish and then switch classrooms to receive instruction in the other language. While students are with their Spanish immersion teacher, they will receive instruction in Mathematics and in Science entirely in Spanish. English language arts instruction is delivered by the English speaking teacher; their English literacy block is maintained to ensure a high level of literacy in the English language. The question of who delivers the content of the Social Studies block is decided by the grade level teacher and the Spanish immersion teacher. Students continue to receive their specials, such as music, art, physical education, and library.
The grade level teacher works closely with the Spanish immersion teacher to co-plan and to discuss the needs of our children. They develop lesson plans and materials to ensure that the grade level (content) standards are met for all children, regardless of the language in which instruction is delivered. All assessments and activities are age and level appropriate. All state assessments are administered in English. The strong partnership that is developed is critical to the success of our immersion program.
The Herricks Language Immersion Program was featured in the New York State Education Department Office of Bilingual Education & World Languages' newsletter. The article is available by clicking here.
What Parents Want to Know about Foreign Language Immersion Programs: a well written article that answers many frequently asked questions on language immersion; please click here to read the article. Please note that a PDF file will open that contains the article.
If you should have any questions about our program, please contact one of the following administrators. Please explore the files below to learn more about our unique program.
Francesco L. Fratto
Director of World Languages, Immersion & English as a New Language
Mrs. Loren Borgese
Principal, Denton Avenue Elementary School