Dual Immersion Program
In 2013, Santa Clara Elementary was selected by Washington County School District to be the second school in our cone site to offer Chinese Dual Immersion. A neighboring school that had established the Chinese program was at maximum capacity. As a result, Santa Clara was able to establish its own program and accommodate those families who wanted their children to benefit from Dual Language instruction.
Santa Clara currently offers a dual strand model. This means a portion of the school participates in the Dual Immersion program while the rest of the school is offered regular classroom placement. The Chinese program is currently being offered in first grade. Each year, Santa Clara will add an additional grade to accommodate student’s grade progression.
Dual Immersion requires family commitment. Dual Immersion programs work when families dedicate the necessary amount of time. Students who are interested in the program need to dedicate five years to it. Learning a language takes time. A five year commitment is necessary. As well, families need to understand that children learn language at a different rate. For some children, there is a silent period that may be associated with tears of frustration, this is totally normal. As students get acclimated, they become accustomed to the language. This acclimation will lead to verbal articulation. The joy of hearing your child talk in a different language is very exciting. When the commitment is established, the rewards are insurmountable.