The Schools of the Pink Church Consider Spanish Dual Language Education
Program to Start in Fall 2020 for Pre-K and Kindergarten Students
Tuesday, March 10th at 7:00pm
The Pink Church
2331 NE 26th Avenue
For more information, please contact Donn Atkins, Lighthouse Christian Schoolboard chairman at 954-941-7501, extension 110. or visit http://thepinkchurch.org/languages
Would Your Child Benefit from a Lifetime of Being Fluent in Spanish and English?
Our world is increasingly interconnected. One of the challenges the citizens of tomorrow face is the need to speak and communicate in more than one language.
There is a new approach being adopted across the country which is called Dual Language Immersion Education. Put simply this gives parents the choice to enroll their children in a complete curriculum taught in two languages. Beginning in preschool these students stop speaking English in the classroom but still enjoy time with their English-learning classmates at lunch and on the playground.
The schools of the First Presbyterian Church (the Pink Church) are considering offering a dual language curriculum in Spanish and English starting in pre-kindergarten and continuing through middle school. They have started a pilot program in the Imagination Station Preschool and are evaluating parent interest in offering this curriculum through the 8th grade in the Lighthouse Christian School.
The schools have engaged addalingua, a Michigan based education organization to help them decide on their approach and to help implement the program using the addalingua methodology, should they decide to proceed. addalingua was founded in 2009 and operates from their headquarters in Holland Michigan. They work with schools across the United States to help with the implementation of dual language immersion education.
To further explain what dual language immersion is, it is important to know what it is not:
It is not a move toward “everyone must learn Spanish.” The Pink Church schools would continue to offer a traditional English curriculum.
It is not a move to “stop speaking English.” Children in the program will be bi-lingual. Tuition will be the same for both programs.
Student outcomes from other schools that have implemented dual language immersion have found that students perform as well or better than English only student on state tests. The program ensures that the same subject content which is taught in English classroom is offered to the dual language students.
In order to help parents to understand what dual language education is, and subsequently to measure the interest in the community, an educational session will be held in the sanctuary of the Pink Church, at 2331 NE 26th Avenue, Pompano Beach, FL 33062 at 7PM on Tuesday, March 10th.
Commenting on the possibility of adding dual language education, Reverend Wayne Myers said,“Our schools have played an important role in preparing the children of our community for the opportunities and challenges of the world. We see this as potentially another element which we can add to help our kids be
successful. We hope parents and the community will join us to learn more, and to let us know if this would be of value to them.“
For more information, please contact Donn Atkins, Lighthouse Christian Schoolboard chairman at 954-941- 7501 EXT.110 or see thepinkchurch.org/languages
Why Dual Language Education?
Why Dual Language Education at a Young Age?
- Babies are born as “world citizens,” able to distinguish any sound in spoken
- Toddlers learn through interaction with their families and their immediate surroundings (Vygotsky, 1978).
- School-age children make sense of new concepts by relating those new concepts to what they already
- The human brain is more open to linguistic development prior to adolescence, and students therefore more easily attain higher levels of proficiency and more native-like
- Research suggests that learning a second language allows students to more easily attain additional languages
How Dual Language Immersion Works
- Children can enter dual language programs as early as preschool and as late as first grade.
- Depending on community interest, schools can offer multiple sections per grade.
- Children in early dual language immersion will spend 100% of classroom instruction in Spanish through 2nd grade.
- Immersion and “traditional” English tracks cover the same curriculum — just in different languages of instruction
- In the United Sates, 1 in 7 persons is Hispanic.
- By 2020, Hispanics are expected to account for half of the growth in the United States’ labor force.
- Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the world.
- Spanish is a “gateway” language that allows students to learn the syntax and orthography of a Latin-based or Romance language.
Former U.S. Secretary of Education John King, Jr. addressed the California Association of Bilingual Educators conference in 2016 on the importance of bilingual education. He challenged attendees to view bilingual education as a means to prepare students for a globalized economy, foster cultural understanding, and ensure equitable opportunities for English language learners. Here are excerpts from his speech.
“One need look back only ten or fifteen years ago to see many folks making the wrong-headed assumption that students speaking a language other than English at home were a deficit, an obstacle, a problem to be fixed. But we’ve shifted.”
“We have a growing body of research that makes clear that students who are bilingual have advantages, not only in their literacy development, but in the development of problem- solving skills and other areas of cognition. What we see now is that bilingualism is a gift that we can give to our students and to our communities. And that is a powerful shift in our historical perspective on bilingualism.”
“If we give students the gift of bilingualism, of multilingualism — if we give students the gift of those skills and those opportunities — they have a better sense of themselves, their community, and their future, and a better appreciation for our diversity as a country. As Tom said, we aspire to a day when every child has the opportunity to be bilingual or multilingual and we have much work to do to pursue that goal.”