BUSD’s Dual Language Immersion Program is designed with a 90/10 language acquisition model, uses the California content standards, and is taught by highly qualified bilingual teachers with the goal of students developing bilingual and biliterate skills in English and Spanish. Through continuous reflection, refinement, and collaboration with the dual language community, the program strives to meet the goals of bilingualism, biliteracy, and cross-cultural competencies.
Our application and enrollment window is February 7 – February 18, 2022.
Spanish Dual Language Immersion
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is Spanish Dual Immersion (DI)? What does the language instructional model look like?
Spanish Dual Immersion (DI) is a program in which students are taught literacy and content in English and Spanish.
The Spanish DI program is an option for parents who want their children to become bilingual and biliterate in Spanish and English; providing the opportunity for students to fluently speak two languages, as well as read and write proficiently in two languages.
BUSD follows a 90/10 language acquisition model, meaning students begin the program with 90% of their instruction in Spanish and 10% in English. The ratio of Spanish to English instruction transitions as students move from one grade level to the next:
- Preschool: 90/10
- Kindergarten: 90/10
- First grade: 90/10
- Second grade: 80/20
- Third grade: 70/30
- Fourth grade: 60/40
- Fifth grade: 50/50
- Sixth grade: 50/50
The ideal student composition for a dual immersion classroom is 33% English-only students, 33% native Spanish speakers, and 33% bilingual students
Where is the program offered?
The Bellflower Unified School District (District) offers a Spanish DI program at the Intensive Learning Center (ILC), Washington Elementary School, and Mayfair Middle School. ILC operates a DI program in grades preschool through sixth grade, while Washington Elementary currently provides a DI program in grades preschool, second through fourth grade in the 2021-22 school year. Washington Elementary will continue to develop the DI program through sixth grade by adding a grade level each year through the 2023-24 school year. Mayfair Middle School offers a DI program in seventh and eighth grades. Students have the opportunity to continue their Spanish education in high school with Spanish language courses.
How do I enroll my child into the Dual Immersion program at either ILC or Washington?
Do I have to start my child in the DI program in Kindergarten?
The District accepts students into the DI program in kindergarten. There are a small number of students who have moved into the District and transferred into the program after kindergarten. We accept students into the program after kindergarten if space is available, the student has been previously enrolled in a Spanish DI program, or if the student is bilingual but has not previously enrolled in a DI program. The District requires students who enroll after kindergarten to be assessed for Spanish language proficiency before acceptance to the program.
Is there a Spanish DI program for students in preschool?
Yes, the District operates a State preschool program open to qualifying students ages 3 and 4 at both Whitewood ILC Preschool and Washington Preschool. The State preschool program is run through our Early Childhood Education Office (9301 Flower St., Bellflower, CA 90706).
Once my child is enrolled in the program, how will I support my child if I don’t speak Spanish?
The District has many DI families that do not speak Spanish at home. Please speak with your child’s teacher to better understand parent resources and allow them the opportunity to assist you and your child.
What are the benefits of the DI program?
Research studies highlight many benefits for gaining proficiency in two languages, including:
- Students are able to appreciate other cultures and to view differences in culture and language as a positive learning experience.
- Immediate benefits include increased academic performance in reading, math, and other subjects, including higher scores on college readiness exams, such as the SAT and ACT, in high school.
- Bilingual and biliterate adults have more job opportunities than monolingual adults.
Do DI students learn the same state standards as students in non-DI classes?
Yes, the state standards and grade-level expectations are the same for all students in the Bellflower Unified School District. The only difference is the language of instruction. DI teachers hold bilingual authorizations to instruct in Spanish and English and are trained to support the students’ transfer of skills between the two languages.
Does the DI program continue after elementary school into middle school?
Students who attend the DI program have the opportunity to enroll in two Spanish language classes in grades seven and eight: a History-Social Studies class taught in Spanish, as well as a Spanish language class. Therefore, 33% of their classes and total classroom instruction will be provided in Spanish.
The District provides the opportunity for DI students to complete additional Spanish language courses, including Advanced Placement courses, while in high school with the ultimate goal being for students to earn the State Seal of Biliteracy upon high school graduation.
What if my child struggles academically in the DI program?
The goal is for your child to find academic success while having the benefit of learning a second language. As students are developing, there are instances where a student may struggle academically. The teachers and school staff are trained to evaluate and provide academic interventions to support your child’s success. However, there are times when a student may not respond to appropriate interventions and reassignment to a non-DI class is recommended by the school team.
BUSD offers the Dual Language Immersion Program at Washington Elementary (562) 804-6536 and the Intensive Learning Center (562) 804-6513. For further information about the program please contact the schools.