In August 2014, St. Peter’s boldly redefined its preschool program by implementing a Spanish language immersion program. Broadly referred to as foreign language immersion, this distinctive approach allows young children to acquire fluency in a second language in the same way they learned English.
Foreign language immersion is an educational methodology that involves teaching traditional, conventional academic subjects such as math, science, social studies, and language arts, in a non-native language. This system uses the rich palette and nuanced expressions of language to embellish and extend the dimension of the learning environment and to ensure students attain fluency in a second language. At St. Peter’s, Spanish is the conduit through which students are academically advancing.
Research surrounding foreign language immersion is vast and substantiated. Students, who are fluent in a second language, are also more cognitively astute, mentally flexible, and culturally aware.
St. Peter’s offers a Spanish immersion option to Preschoolers through 5th grade students. Teachers instruct and interact with students speaking only Spanish in the classroom.
Students who acquire fluency in a second language at an early age:
- Are more capable of acquiring other languages;
- Become more intellectually flexible and cognitively astute;
- Develop a heightened understanding, respect, and concern for other cultures and globally issues;
- Experience long-term academic success, typically scoring higher on all standardized tests;
- Develop a capacity at a younger age to comprehend complex, abstract concept;
- Demonstrate high confidence and self-esteem;
- Pursue more difficult educational programs.