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  • Q & A

Q & A

What Is Dual Language Immersion?

Dual Language Immersion provides a way to learn academic content while acquiring another language at the same time. Students receive math, science, and social studies instruction in a target language, such as Spanish, Chinese, French or Portuguese. The teaching strategies used supports students in learning the concepts and skills for the subject area and develop the ability to read, write, speak, and listen in another target language.

The goals are for the students to develop literacy skills in both English and the target language while attaining academic achievement that is at or above their grade level as measured by Utah Core Testing.

Why Immersion?

More than 40 years or research consistently documents the power of immersion programs to help students attain high levels of second language proficiency. No other type of instruction , short of living in a second-language environment, is as successful.

Young children especially thrive in this type of instructional environment. Language immersion is also the least expensive way to deliver second-language instruction

Who Can Participate?

The dual language immersion program seeks to enroll students of varying backgrounds and abilities. Applications are open to all students entering 1st grade or kindergarten depending on the school, or other grades if appropriate.

May my student participate part time in Dual Language Immersion program?

Participation in the Utah Dual Language Immersion program is considered to be a comprehensive educational experience. Beginning in the first grade, paired English and target language teachers collaborate to support student mastery of both the core content standards and target language skills in a full day program. It is our expectation that students who participate in the Utah Dual Language Immersion program participate fully in the school academic day and its prescribed instructional design.

How do I apply for a Dual Language Immersion Program?

Applications for WCSD Dual Language Immersion programs are available on the district website under Dual Immersion. The instructions and deadlines are included with the application information. WCSD may continue to receive applications past the deadline if there are still spots available in a specific school program. If programs are full, applicants will be placed on that program’s waiting list.

How are the number of students selected for the program decided?

WCSD personnel will determine the program enrollment numbers at each school. The number of spaces available is based on total school enrollment and other considerations. These numbers will differ between schools and will depend on the needs of the school to maintain a quality traditional and dual language immersion program.

How will students be selected for the Dual Language Immersion program?

Placement in the program will be done through a lottery process.

Will the program be open to students of all ability levels?

The Dual Language Immersion program seeks to enroll students of varying backgrounds and all abilities. Students of all levels are capable of acquiring a second language.

Is dual language immersion a gifted/high ability program?

No, students of all abilities are encouraged to apply.

When can students enter the Dual Language Immersion program?

Students can enter the dual immersion program in kindergarten or first grade, depending on the school. In an effort to maintain program fidelity, students may be added in no later than fall of 2nd grade should there be a decrease in enrollment or other considerations. Additionally, students who demonstrate proficiency in the target language will be considered at any grade.

How is instructional time distributed between English and the taget language?

The student’s daily instructions will be divided half in English and half in the target language. Target language instruction will occur in mathematics, science, and related content areas.

How will parents help with homework in the target language?

Only tasks that the student could complete independently will be assigned as homework in the target language. This is best practice for all homework assignments regardless of the language. Parents are still encouraged to read daily in English to their student.

Can siblings be in the program?

At this time, siblings will be given a weighted preference for participation in the Dual Language Immersion program to encourage further language development.

Can parents/guardians volunteer in a Dual Language Immersion classroom?

Parents/guardians will be encouraged to volunteer in the classroom and familiarize themselves with the target language. However, only the target language is spoken in this classroom.

Will my student be expected to participate in the Dual Language Immersion program through the 9th/10th grade?

In order to fully benefit from the Dual Language Immersion program, we expect that students will commit to the program through middle/high school (i.e. completion of the Advanced Placement course in target language).

Why are Spanish,Chinese, French, German, and Portuguese the Dual Language Immersion target languages?

The United States Government have identified French, Chinese, Spanish, German, and Portuguese languages as “critical languages”. This designation means that the national need for trained speakers in these languages exceeds the number of bilingual speakers available. These languages are also critical for U.S. national security and economic competitiveness. At this time, the Washington County School District is offering Spanish and Chinese Dual Language Immersion programs.


Dual Immersion
121 West Tabernacle
St. George, Utah 84770
T: (435) 673-3553
F: (435) 652-4720
Dual Immersion Coordinator
Marybeth Fuller
(435) 673-3553 x5183

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