Monthly School Tours starting in November - April. Inter-District Permit Window Opens Mid-November, and closes on March. Please call today to book your tour and begin or continue your child’s journey to bilingualism and biliteracy. Visit www.lvusd.org/domain/66 for enrollment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Has Spanish Immersion been proven to be an effective education paradigm?
A: Yes. In large-scale studies over many years, university researchers have documented a very high rate of success in achieving academic proficiency for both Spanish and English-speaking children in programs similar to ours. Typically, both Spanish and English speakers achieve native or near-native fluency in their new language. On standardized academic tests, both groups outperform their counterparts who have been educated in monolingual classrooms. Spanish speakers also outperform their counterparts who have been educated in traditional bilingual classrooms.
Q: What happens in the classroom?
A: Language is the vehicle for instruction in immersion classrooms. A visitor would not find a class conjugating verbs or memorizing prepared "dialogues." Rather, one would see children using the language --speaking, reading, writing, adding, subtracting, experimenting, singing, arguing, whispering and shouting --all in Spanish, under the guidance of a teacher, who has been specially trained to teach the language while using it.
Q: How do Spanish speakers specifically benefit from this program?
A: In a general education classroom, where English is the language of instruction, the native Spanish speakers might struggle initially when using English. However, in a Spanish Immersion program, these students gain self-confidence, because they understand the language of instruction. These students are also challenged to become language models by assisting the English speakers by translating and leading some group activities. Meanwhile, the native Spanish speakers are learning English by interacting with their peers. Spanish speakers get the chance to advance academically and socially while becoming bilingual. Native Spanish speakers can maintain their first language, Spanish, while learning a second language, English, at a time when their brains are most receptive to language learning. Spanish speakers also gain socially by making friendships across cultural, ethnic and linguistic boundaries.
Q: How do English speakers specifically benefit from this program?
A: English speakers get the chance to acquire a new language in the years when their brains are most receptive to language learning. Most become highly proficient in the target language, a standard that most adult Americans, who typically began to study a foreign language in middle or high school, can never hope to attain. English speakers also gain socially by making friendships across cultural, ethnic, and linguistic boundaries. Research demonstrates that English speakers in language-immersion programs hold positive attitudes about people from other cultures.
Q: How do children who are already bilingual benefit from this program?
A: Dual Immersion programs allow bilingual children to continue to develop their speaking skills and to learn to read and write in both languages.
Q: Is this method of early language learning in wide use?
A: In short, yes. There are more than 300 elementary language Dual Immersion Programs throughout the United States, according to the Center for Applied Linguistics in Washington, D.C. There are Dual Immersion programs in many languages, but the most common by far is Spanish. The model was developed in the 1970s in Quebec, Canada, where it is still used extensively to develop bilingualism in French and English-speaking students.
Q: How did Las Virgenes’ Spanish Immersion program get started?
A: Our program began in the 2011-2012 school year, based on The Guiding Principles of Dual Immersion.
Q: Who is the staff of the Las Virgenes Unified Spanish Immersion program?
A: All of our teachers are dedicated, creative, and trained in dual-immersion techniques. Those teachers who are teaching Spanish are completely fluent in English and Spanish.