Spanish Immersion - GRCES and RCS
In 2012-2013, Grand Rapids Christian Schools will continue to offer Spanish Immersion programs for our youngest students at Grand Rapids Christian Elementary School (1050 Iroquois SE) and Rockford Christian School (6060 Belding Road).
Detailed information concerning enrollment and lottery procedures for the 2013-2014 school year at the Iroquois campus can be found by clicking this link: Spanish Immersion Timeline.
For specific enrollment information at the Rockford campus, please contact Eric Burgess, Principal, at 616-574-6400 or email email@example.com.
Spanish Immersion information:
Spanish Immersion - commonly asked questionsSpanish Immersion - Admissions and lottery procedures
Spanish Immersion program overview, goals, and other details
What is an Immersion Program?
- Students learn their core curriculum in the non-English (i.e. Spanish) language. They study the same content as their peers in the non-immersion program but are “immersed” in the target language learning to read, speak, and write naturally and gradually in that target language.
- Students typically begin their English language arts curriculum in the 2nd grade for 45-50 minutes a day.
- Teachers are native or near-native speakers of the target language.
- Students enter the Immersion program in either pre-school or kindergarten.
- Students continue in the Immersion program until 4th or 5th grade typically. Maintenance programs are then offered in middle school and high school.
- Immersion programming has been in the United States for decades. Right now, over 300 schools in the United States offer immersion programming.
“The future is here. It’s multiethnic, multicultural, and multilingual.” (V. Stewart.
Becoming Citizens of the World. Ed.Leadership, Pg. 8)
An immersion program is a unique experience that benefits students’:
- Overall academic achievement: Research has overwhelmingly proven that students in immersion programs have:
- gained a higher level of achievement in most other subjects by the time they
get to the 5th grade. (Swain & Lapkin, 1982)
- scored considerably higher on math and reading on standardized tests.
(Armstrong, Learning Languages)
- demonstrated better scores on the ACT and SAT. (Cooper, Modern
- Level of proficiency in the target language and their first language:
Research and testing have shown that students:
- are less inhibited and more likely to use the language. They are able to pick up
the accent more accurately. (Stewart, Early Childhood Education Journal.)
- have tested into the advanced-low level of the ACTFL proficiency guidelines
after the 4th grade. (Ada Vista Immersion School test results per Lilah
Ambrosi, former principal.) *advanced-low is the typical benchmark for
non-native language teachers
- have demonstrated higher reading levels in their first language. (D’ Anguilli,
Siegel & Sierra, Applied Psycholinguistics)
- Future opportunities
- Research has proven that students with a high level of proficiency in a second
language have “advanced in the job market, enjoyed traveling, felt less isolated,
been able to work in international markets…”(Weatherford, ERIC Digest)
- “There isn’t a job that doesn’t call for some computer skills. Almost every
industry today is diversifying linguistically…Bridging a cultural gap as well
as a linguistic gap makes an individual more employable...(who) can earn
from 5 to 20 percent more income than someone who speaks only English.”
(E. Alba-Suh, Why Being Bilingual Can Get You the Job. Extra News)
Most importantly, an immersion program is another opportunity that enables students to:
- Serve others humbly in the name of Jesus.
- Learning another’s language is touching the essence of their identity (F. Smith,
The Book of Learning and Forgetting, 17). It is learning their culture. (D.
Livermore, Cultural Intelligence, 113).
- “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value
others above yourselves.” Philippians 2:3
- “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:35-40
- “…I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I
became like a Jew to win the Jews. I Corinthians 9:19-23
- Experience and absorb diversity and other cultures
- Students not only learn the cultural artifacts like food, holidays, and customs but
also learn to appreciate and respect differences by being in a multicultural
- Students learn to respect diversity since that is what their teachers, their role
models, represent. The idea of diversity doesn’t become an object to be learned
or studied. Rather it permeates every content area.
- “Learn from those who are of other cultures; God may be at work in them in
ways that you desperately need.” ( Reflection of the Parable of the Samaritan)
(D. Smith. Learning from the Stranger, 76)
- Engage in global conversations that will not only allow for the transformation of
others but also the continual transformation of themselves.
- “At the heart of intercultural learning is learning how to hear…Loving the
stranger is not about putting up with the inferior ways of others; it involves
realizing that I am a stranger too.” (D. Smith, Learning from the Stranger,