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Dual Immersion Programs Continue To Grow
Posted by: Andrea Fox Published: 1/19/17

Mandarin Immersion Underway at Marengo and Spanish Immersion Continues into Second Year at Monterey Hills

SOUTH PASADENA, Calif. (January 19, 2017) – At the start of the 2016-2017 school year, students in several South Pasadena Unified School District (SPUSD) classrooms began their public-school experiences with teachers instructing them in English and in a targeted language – either Spanish or Mandarin. This school year, Spanish is taught in one kindergarten and one first grade class at Monterey Hills Elementary School, and Mandarin instruction takes place within two kindergarten classes at Marengo Elementary School. Designed for children and parents who desire a proficiency in a language other than English, the classes seek to expand world language experiences for young learners.

     As part of planning for next year’s incoming kindergarten students, SPUSD invites all interested South Pasadena parents to attend the Dual Immersion Parent Information Meeting on February 6, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. in the District office boardroom at 1020 El Centro Street to learn more.

     “We are thrilled by the progress of both the Mandarin and Spanish programs,” said Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services, Christiane Gervais. “The teachers and leaders involved in designing the program work to teach bilingualism and biliteracy while maintaining the academic excellence of SPUSD’s curricula.”

     The Mandarin dual immersion program is designed for English learners and English speaking students and follows a 50/50 instructional model in kindergarten through grade five, which means that approximately 50% of the class is taught in the target language and 50% is taught in English.  This model helps students excel in both an alphabet based language (English) and a language rooted in a logographic system (Mandarin), where symbols represent words.

     The Spanish classes start with a 90/10 instructional model, which means that in kindergarten approximately 90% of the class will be taught in Spanish and 10% will be taught in English. As students move up grades, the ratio of Spanish to English decreases. 90/10 languages use a similar alphabetic system to English so there is a more immediate transfer of instruction between languages.

     In both Mandarin and Spanish dual immersion programs, English-dominant and target-language-dominant students are purposefully integrated to meet various goals including developing bilingual skills, meeting or exceeding state standards, and fostering an appreciation of world languages and cultures.

     For additional program information including enrollment procedures for the Spanish dual immersion program at Monterey Hills and the Mandarin dual immersion program at Marengo Elementary, visit www.spusd.net and please attend the parent meeting on February 6, 2017.  Translation will be provided.

About South Pasadena Unified School District

Established in 1886, the South Pasadena Unified School District (SPUSD) serves approximately 4,800 students within five schools including three elementary schools, one middle school and one comprehensive high school in South Pasadena, California.  Nestled in the West San Gabriel Valley, SPUSD has earned a reputation for providing high quality public education, attracting families who value challenging academic programs and outstanding teachers. Consistently recognized for superior performance, SPUSD students earn honors at the local, state and national level.  The District draws vital support from parents and community members through the South Pasadena Educational Foundation, local PTAs and booster clubs.


For more information, contact: South Pasadena Unified School District, Office of the Superintendent, scarroll@spusd.net