Delaware expands foreign language immersion program

ID-10033405In 2011, Delaware’s Governor Jack Markell provided the leadership and funding for immersion studies through his World Language Initiative. This week, Markell announced the state’s plan to expand the program and to ensure students can continue their immersion language study after elementary school.

The expansion will establish 20 immersion programs across the state by 2016, reaching nearly 8,000 students in ten years.

“These children already are speaking, writing and learning in their immersion language each day. They have worked hard and made great progress in their language proficiency. We owe it to them to provide them the opportunity to continue their immersion studies by integrating content and language into their secondary school studies,” Markell said. “With our commitment, these children will graduate from our public schools with the language skills to compete in an ever-changing global economy at home and around the world.”

The first continuation program will be piloted in Red Clay during the 2017-18 academic year with about 60 Spanish immersion students. Statewide rollout in both Chinese and Spanish will occur in 2018-19 with about 225 students, who will enter sixth grade in Caesar Rodney, Indian River and Red Clay districts. When the students reach high school, they will take Advanced Placement Spanish or Chinese in grade 9 then continue to increase their language proficiency through dual enrollment options in grades 10 to 12.

CHINESE IMMERSION PROGRAMS FOR 2016-17

Caesar Rodney School District

  • Ralph McIlvaine Early Childhood Center (K)
  • Allen J. Frear Elementary School (1-4)
  • WB Simpson Elementary School (1-4)

Christina School District

  • John R. Downes Elementary School (K-3)

Colonial School District

  • New Castle Elementary School (K-1)

SPANISH IMMERSION PROGRAMS FOR 2016-17

Appoquinimink School District

  • Townsend Early Childhood Center (K)
  • Silver Lake Elementary School (1)
  • Townsend Elementary School (1)

Brandywine School District

  • Claymont Elementary School (K-1)

Caesar Rodney School District

  • Ralph McIlvaine Early Childhood Center (K)
  • Reily Brown Elementary School (1-2)

Capital School District

  • South Dover Elementary School (K-3)
  • Fairview Elementary School (K)

Indian River School District

  • John M. Clayton Elementary School (K-4)
  • East Millsboro Elementary (K-3)

Milford School District

  • Morris Early Childhood Center (K)

Red Clay Consolidated School District

  • Lewis Dual Language Elementary School (K-5)

Seaford School District

  • Blades Elementary School (K-2)
  • West Seaford Elementary School (K-2)
  • Central Elementary School (3)
  • Frederick Douglass Elementary School (3)

Smyrna School District

  • North Smyrna Elementary School (K)

For more information about the immersion program, visit the Delaware Department of Education.

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Photo by photostock and FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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