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Seattle-area school district makes language immersion a priority

April 11, 2015

Language immersion a priority for Bellevue School District


Puesta Del Sol Elementary is the region’s only language immersion program in a public school system where students start learning Spanish in kindergarten. (KIRO Radio/Jillian Raftery)

Right away, visitors will notice that Nicole Perriella’s second grade classroom in Bellevue is a little different.

At Puesta Del Sol Elementary, instead of reading, writing, and arithmetic, it’s “leyendo, escribiendo, y las matemáticas.”

It’s the region’s only language immersion program in a public school system where students start learning Spanish in kindergarten. They’re fluent by the fifth grade, and go on to take college courses while in high school.

The program has become so popular, the district recently added a Mandarin Chinese dual language program at Jing Mei Elementary in Bellevue.

Heidi Lamar, English Language Learners Curriculum Supervisor for the Bellevue School District, said administrators and parents have seen first-hand the results of bilingual learning: better test scores, cognitive aptitude, and high confidence in later years.

Please read more here.

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