Dual Language Immersion Program

PWCS' Dual Language Immersion program is expanding to select elementary sites starting next school year, and resources that are being explored for the content areas of Spanish language arts, Spanish phonics, and Spanish mathematics for kindergarten through 2nd grade will be available for public review and comment from February 5 until May 5, 2024. Materials are held in the Professional Learning Library at the Kelly Learning Center, located at 14715 Bristow Rd., Manassas, VA 20112.

During the resource evaluation process, administrators in the central office World Language program convenes teachers, administrators, and parents who are tasked with evaluating textbooks. Feedback is solicited from all county schools and from the public. Citizens’ comments will be collected and considered by the textbook committee as they prepare their recommendations to the School Board in the spring. The final purchase report is planned for presentation to the School Board for information and approval in May/June 2024.

For more information or comments, contact Betsy Campagna, supervisor for world languages, at campagbg@pwcs.edu or 703-791-7400.

Dual Language Immersion

What is Dual Language Immersion?

Dual Language Immersion is a program where students study academic content in two languages. Students work on the four domains of language learning (reading, writing, listening, and speaking) in both languages throughout each year in the program.

Goals of Dual Language Immersion

According to the Center for Applied Linguistics, the long-term goals of dual language education programs (often referred to as the three pillars) are:

Goal 1: Bilingualism and Biliteracy

  • Students can speak and understand each of the two program languages
  • Students can also read, write, translate, and use each of the two program languages to support the continued growth of the other

Goal 2: High Academic Achievement

  • Students can achieve grade level expectations in core content areas in both program languages

Goal 3: Sociocultural Competence

  • Everyone working to ensure the understanding and advocating for the culturally, linguistically, and socioeconomic diverse needs of all
  • Sociocultural competence also includes the use of multiethnic curriculum resources and valuing families' home languages and dialects

PWCS' Dual Language Immersion Model

All PWCS Dual Language Immersion sites will be using an 80%/20% model, which means students kindergarten students enrolled in the program will receive 80% of their core instruction in the target language, while 20% is taught in English. This helps to build a strong foundation in that target language and sets students up for success in later years. As students progress through the program, each year, the amount of English instruction increases until it is 50%/50% in 3rd through 5th grade.

Grade Percentage of Instruction in Spanish Percentage of Instruction in English
Kindergarten 80% 20%
First 70% 30%
Second 60% 40%
Third-Fifth 50% 50%

Benefits of Dual Language Immersion

Some of the benefits of a dual language immersion education are, but not limited to:

  • Students who are exposed to two languages at an early age, on average, outperform their monolingual peers in traditional classrooms – particularly in reading.
  • Heightened sense of social understanding and cultural awareness
  • Beneficial for English-learning students since it encourages the development of English, but not at the cost of losing their native language
  • The ability to learn additional languages more easily
  • Minimizing the achievement gap between English learners and native English speakers that often arises in traditional classrooms
  • Improved memory, as well as higher problem-solving skills and executive function

How to Enroll

All parents/guardians who enroll their student for kindergarten at one of the four schools that offer dual language immersion will automatically be entered for a chance to be randomly selected for the program (unless the family opts out). Families will be notified in the summer if their student is selected. Since these are not specialty programs, families must live in the neighborhood boundary of the school – transferring is not an option.

Depending on class sizes, students who enroll any other time of the school year in kindergarten or 1st grade can be selected for the dual language immersion program if the family chooses.

Students who are enrolling in 2nd grade and above, unless coming from another dual language immersion program, must pass a language proficiency test to ensure they have sufficient language proficiency to be successful in the program.

Resources For Families

Contact Information

Betsy Campagna
Supervisor - World Languages

Richard Pardo, Ed.D.
Coordinator - Dual Language Immersion

Clara Pérez
Specialist - Dual Language Immersion Professional Development

Karen Fulton
Administrative Assistant