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Bilingual Education

ICS uses a dual language immersion program, which means that students spend approximately 50% of their time studying in English and 50% of their time studying in either Spanish or Portuguese.

Language Use
Academic instruction occurs in both languages. It is important that students use the "minority" or non-English language at least 50% of the time. This should be an "additive" environment where all students have the opportunity to learn a second language while continuing to develop their native language. Separation of languages is essential by time block, subject (e.g. math in Spanish, science in English), week, teacher, or a combination. At ICS we use a "week-to-week" model, in which students learn entirely in one language for a week at a time.

2nd language Instruction
Integrating the 2nd language instruction with academic or other content matter is more effective than teaching second language in isolation. Students will develop content area knowledge along with proficiency in both languages. Teachers need to provide extended opportunities for classroom discourse in the target language. We need to include native speakers of the language in the same classrooms (balanced if possible) and provide explicit and implicit language curriculum.

Academic Instruction
Academic instruction occurs in 2 languages with mixed classrooms or in student's native language. This allows students access to curriculum in native language. The same core academic materials should be available for all students. Positive interactions of students should be facilitated through the use strategies such as cooperative learning.

For more information on bilingual education, go to http://www.cal.org