Spanish Immersion from Preschool to Middle School
Kalamazoo Christian offers both a traditional English learning curriculum and a Spanish Immersion learning curriculum. The Spanish Immersion (SI) program starts with our 3’s & 4’s Preschool and continues on through high school. The core curriculum for both English and Spanish Immersion (SI) are the same. The difference between them is the language arts curriculum that surrounds the SI-enrolled students. In middle school and high school, students enrolled in the SI program take some of their content courses in the target language, to maintain their Spanish language skills, while still rotating classes with their traditional English classmates. This program is designed to immerse students in the Spanish language while maintaining a high-quality, Christ-centered education.
What is Immersion?
- A research-based, proven method of educating children by immersing them in a second or “target” language so they become fully bilingual.
- The classroom environment becomes the setting for language acquisition through: core subject content instruction, educational discourse, and social interactions.
How does it work?
- Students begin their immersion experience in preschool, kindergarten, or first grade.
- Students are taught to read, write, and converse in Spanish by becoming immersed in the Spanish language throughout the school day. All core subject areas are taught in Spanish.
- Explicit teaching of English only skills (that are not transferable), beginning in third grade, occurs through core subject areas such as social studies or science.
- In middle school, students transition into a secondary continuing immersion experience that will allow students to further build academic vocabulary in Spanish while still changing classes and interacting with their English only classmates.
- In High School, our students continue their Spanish study through a unique partnership with Western Michigan University and are able to graduate from our High School with enough credits from WMU to equal a minor in Spanish.
The Benefits of Spanish Immersion
Empirical evidence reveals the following benefits to learning a second language:
- Has a positive effect on intellectual growth and enhances a child’s mental development.
- Produces students with more flexibility in thinking, greater sensitivity to language, and a better ear for listening.
- Improves children’s understanding of their own native language.
- Enhances children’s ability to learn additional languages.
- Greater love for new cultures and people from around the world.
Kalamazoo Christian has partnered with add.a.lingua for research-based curriculum and teacher training. More information about add.a.lingua can be found on their website. At the high school level, we’ve partnered with Western Michigan University- a faculty member from WMU teaches at our campus, and at graduation from high school, our students have enough credits to equal a Spanish Minor even before they set foot in college!
The best way to learn more about Spanish Immersion at Kalamazoo Christian is to fill out an inquiry here. We are happy to share enrollment information, specific curriculum questions, or to schedule a tour today.