Frequently Asked Questions About Spanish Immersion at Adams

  • An important element to the success of children in immersion programs is a positive parent attitude toward Spanish and the program.

    Is immersion the right choice?

    In answering this question, it is important to weigh the opportunities that you are offering your child through exposure to the Spanish language and its culture.  Taking part in the Spanish immersion program is a unique learning experience.  We encourage all interested parents to talk with Adams parents and teachers to determine if Adams is right for your child.  It is important for parents to enter initial enrollment with the understanding that they are enrolling in a kindergarten-through-sixth grade program.  It is not in the best interest of the child or the program for students to be enrolled for a one or two year “interesting experience”.  The success of immersion education is best validated by sustained continuity and intensive experience in the immersion language.

    Will the immersion students follow the same curriculum as the students in a regular English program?

    The curriculum in immersion programs is the same as the curriculum in English only programs.  Students receive the same instruction in the basic subjects:  mathematics, reading, language arts, science, social studies, computer literacy etc.  Adams uses a thematic approach to education, in which in any given year, one theme unites instruction in all subject areas.

    What about reading in English?

    Your child will be taught to read first in Spanish.  You should not expect your child to read in English until instruction in reading and writing is provided in English, in the second grade.  We ask that parents not attempt to formally teach their children to read in English.  As children become ready to read in English on their own, parents should encourage this at home and deal with it in a relaxed and enjoyable manner.

    What eventual effect does an immersion program have on children’s verbal and math skills in English?

    Although there are certain lags in English language arts for the first few years of the program, children tend to make up these lags after formal English instruction is introduced.  In addition, the research on this question is both voluminous and unequivocal:  studies have consistently shown that by the end of the elementary grades, immersion students generally perform as well as and may even surpass comparable non-immersion students on measures in English of verbal and mathematical skills.

    What about the first days in an immersion program?

    For students beginning school in early immersion programs the only difference between the immersion class and the English-only class is that the teacher is using the second language.  The children are made to feel secure through skillful instruction.  After a few days they do not focus on the fact that the teacher is not speaking English.