Bridge to Biliteracy Spanish Immersion Program

  • Department of the Air Force School Liaison Program logo                           Military Interstate Children's Compact Commission

What is the Spanish Immersion Program?

  • It is a rigorous program where standards- based academic content and literacy are taught in both Spanish and English. This program adheres to high expectations and state standards.

Program Goals - To develop:

    • Bilingual, biliterate and bicultural students
    • High levels of academic achievement
    • An appreciation and understanding of diverse cultures.

Instructional Design

    • One Way-50/50 model – students will receive 50% of instruction in Spanish and 50% in English
    • English-dominant and Spanish- dominant students are integrated for instruction throughout the day

    Skills are taught in one language and reinforced in the other through thematic teaching and cross-linguistic development.

Parent/Guardian Commitment

  • Maintain child in program through 5th grade:

    • Support child at home in their native language to continue to develop language and academic skills
    • Participate in Spanish Immersion parent meetings and functions

Research Findings

  • Students who acquire advanced levels of proficiency in second languages often experience certain cognitive and linguistic advantages when compared to monolingual students.
        (Cummins,1981; Lambert, Genesee, Halolbow & Chatrand 1993)

    Students who are exposed to a second language at an early age have a better chance to learn and be more successful in the acquisition of a second language.
        (Cognitive Neuroscientist Laura Ann Petitto, 2004)

    There is increasing evidence that phonological awareness transfers across languages.
        (e.g., Durgunoglu & Verhoeven, 1998; Geva, 2000)

What advantages does the Spanish Immersion Program offer students?

  • Cognitive Benefits

    • Intellectual growth
    • Creativity in thinking and listening
    • Higher order reasoning skills

    Socio-Cultural Benefits

    • Effective communication in both English and Spanish
    • Literacy in both languages
    • Appreciation for cultural diversity
    • Pride in own culture
    • Skills necessary in a global economy
    • College and career readiness


  • Melissa Morgado
    Supervisor of World Languages 
    (813) 272-4960

    Stephanie Kraft
    Project Manager, Bridge to Biliteracy Spanish Immersion Program
    (813) 272-4960


Community Partners

    • Hola Foundation
    • Latino Coalition of Tampa Bay
    • Mayor’s Hispanic Advisory Council

Bridge to Biliteracy Spanish Immersion Program at Warren Hope Dawson Elementary School

Programa de inmersión en español Bridge to Biliteracy de Warren Hope Dawson Elem. School