• Dual Language Immersion Program

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    "Knowledge learned through one language paves the way for knowledge acquisition in the second language" (Lindholm-Leary, 2007)

    Reddick Elementary is one of four elementary schools in Hillsborough County with a Dual Language Immersion Program. Started in 2018 with two Kindergarten classes, the program will continue to grow every year as each class of students moves up to the next grade level.

    What is Dual Language?
    Dual language is a type of bilingual education where students are taught in two languages. Dual language programs foster bilingualism and biliteracy so that students are able to speak, read and write in two languages and utilize academic language. Dual language programs also foster an increased awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and encourage high levels of achievement through instruction in two languages.

    Characteristics of Dual Language Programs
    • English native speakers and Spanish native speakers are instructed together. Each homeroom class has a balance of students.
    • There is a clear and consistent separation of languages. One homeroom is instructed exclusively in Spanish with English support. And the other homeroom is taught exclusively in English with Spanish support. Students will be immersed in both classrooms throughout the day.

    What are the benefits of Dual Language programs?
    Research suggests that children who have rich and early exposure to two languages are cognitively more advanced than their monolingual peers on certain highly sophisticated cognitive tasks related to attention and abstract reasoning. (Petitto, 2002)

    "Developing proficiency in two languages is associated positively with greater cognitive flexibility and awareness of language, which contributes to academic achievement" (Cummins, 1999).

    How can I help my child?
    • Encourage your child's interest in the language
    • Read with your child every day
    • Allow your child to watch YouTube - appropriate channels in Spanish (songs, books, shows)
    • Check out Spanish books / bilinguagl books at the library
    • Download Spanish learning apps on home computers and iPads
    • Encourage, but do not force, your child to speak in the second language
    • Connect with other parents raising bilingual children in your community

    States of Second Language Learning:
    Pre-Production  (0-6 months)
    Non-verbal, draws, points

    Early Pre-production (6-12 months)
    Limited comprehension, grammar errors

    Speech Emergence (1 - 3 years)
    Simple sentences, good comprehension, grammar errors

    Intermediate fluency (3 - 5 years)
    Excellent comprehension, few grammatical errors

    Advanced fluency (5-7 years)
    native level of bilingualism in comprehension, speaking, reading and writing


    Cummins, J. (1999). Biliteracy, empowerment, and transformative pedagogy. In J. V. Tinajero & R. A. DeVillar (Eds.), The power of two languages: 2000. (pp. 9-19). New York: McGraw-Hill.

    Genesee, F., & Lindholm-Leary, K.  (2007). Dual language education in Canada and the USA.  In J. Cummins & N. Hornberger (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Language and Education, Volume 5:  Bilingual Education.  Norwell, MA: Springer.

    Holowka, S., & Petitto, L.A. (2002). Left Hemisphere Cerebral Specialization for Babies While Babbling. Science, Vol 297, page 1515.