3 Reasons we LOVE our Dual-Language Immersion Programs:
We live in one of the most diverse dioceses in the world. With three counties where 224 languages and dialects are spoken, embracing the many multi-lingual communities in our schools can be a challenge – if you choose to see it that way. Here in Los Angeles, we’ve chosen to embrace this reality of diversity and introduce our brand new Dual-Language Immersion Programs to our Catholic schools. Patricia Harty, dual language implementation specialist for the Archdiocese explains how these programs will benefit students and improve our education system.
“Many of the students who come to our schools are non English speakers,” Harty said. “Instead of forcing kids to forget their native tongues, we’re using their home language as an asset.”
The Dual Language Immersion initiative was a response to the needs of the schools in our Archdiocese, and the result is something that benefits everyone. Non-English speakers are able to study in the comfort of their native tongues while learning English in a more effective manner. English speakers are able to immerse themselves in a language and culture that gives them the tools to navigate larger social networks and communities while helping them outperform their English-only peers. This groundbreaking model of education has so many proven benefits that it’s hard to list a few, but here are three of the most important ones:
1. Bilingual by Graduation
Students who attend our DLI schools will go from TK (or even pre-school) to 8th grade learning content in two languages, English and a partner language (Spanish or Mandarin.) They will graduate with full oral, reading and writing proficiency in two languages. The beauty of doing this at a Catholic school is that they will even experience daily prayers, Masses, celebrations and performances in both languages.
2. Top of the class
Studies show that students who attend DLI schools have higher general academic performance. They perform higher on standardized tests of reading and math in English, but in addition they are able to read and write at grade level in another lang Research confirms that students in DLI programs begin to outperform their English-only peers as early as 3rd and 4th grades and by high school, they outperform their English-only peers.
3. A universal community
There is no better way to truly embody what a “Catholic” school means than by being a “universal” community. Students develop positive attitudes about students of other language and cultural backgrounds and perceive themselves in a more positive light as learners. They have more diverse groups of friends and feel more confident approaching people of other cultural groups. This gives them significant advantages to participate and lead in their communities and anywhere that their continued education and career aspirations will take them.
Learn more about the DLI model of education and find DLI schools in your area here.