St. Cloud Area School District 742 announced on Wednesday that they expanded options in their language immersion programming for incoming kindergartners in the 2023-2024 school year. Dual immersion in Spanish will be offered at Clearview and Westwood elementary schools, and dual immersion in Somali will be offered at Discovery and Talahi community Schools.
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In Clearview, kindergarteners next fall will transition to a dual immersion program in Spanish from full immersion. The district explained in a press release that in a dual language immersion program, or two-way immersion, “the goal is for students to receive instruction half the day in the target language and half the day in English.” In a full immersion program, students are taught in a second language while they learn, math, reading, writing, social studies, science, health and other subjects. The press release emphasised that specialty classes such as art may be taught in English.
Current Spanish immersion students at Clearview will remain in full immersion programming. Fall 2023 will mark the first year for language immersion programming at Westwood and provide open enrollment opportunities for neighboring north and west school districts.
Dual immersion in Somali will be piloted for kindergartners for the first time in Fall 2023 at Discovery Community School for the Discovery and Oak Hill attendance areas, and at Talahi Community School, serving the Talahi and Lincoln attendance areas. This pilot program will be the first dual immersion Somali program in the state.
According to the release, the “benefits of immersion education are far-reaching. It enhances academic and linguistic performance in both languages. It physically enhances cognitive brain development and increases social emotional development and self-confidence. It broadens student understanding of language and culture while preparing students to become global citizens.”
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