Spanish-English Dual Language Immersion Program

TECA offers a dual language program in which we teach 50/50 curricular content in Spanish and English from kindergarten through fifth grade. We give students the opportunity to maintain their Spanish language learning in middle school with a minimum of two content courses taught in Spanish.

History of the Dual Language Program at TECA

The program was initiated in the fall of 2010 and was originally planned as a 50:50 model for kindergarten through third graders with all content taught in both languages. In the fall of 2015, we made the decision to expand one cohort of 32 students into the fourth and fifth grades with some content taught in Spanish. Students who were not able to continue in the program attended Spanish enrichment classes.

In 2018, TECA was recognized by the California Department of Education’s Charter School Office for its leadership in language learning and received a highly competitive federal grant. TECA received a $200,000 grant to refine and disseminate its dual language model to other public and charter schools. 

Enhancements to the Dual Language Program at TECA

During the 2017-18 school year, we aligned the program to the critical components, best practices, and research in the field of dual language education. Teachers now collaborate to introduce content other than Spanish language arts and English language arts in one language and then reinforce learning in the other language. We have adjusted the model in the fourth and fifth grades to offer expanded learning in Spanish as aligned to a true 50:50 model.

Teachers in the dual language immersion pathway participate in ongoing professional development to improve their practice, including monthly dual language team meetings and attending dual language conferences. We also offer parents opportunities to learn at workshops focused on the dual language immersion program.

Moving Forward

We are fully committed to providing our teachers with high quality professional development through national and regional conferences, school visits/partnerships, and monthly team meetings. All staff members engage in professional learning to understand and support the dual language immersion program. 

Our teaching and learning resources are expanding with both core and supplemental materials along with assessments in both languages. We are expanding access to students in the upper elementary grades by funding teaching positions and have allocated funding to a program coordinator. We continue to engage families with our orientation to the program and ongoing workshops. Our goal is to have an articulated transitional kindergarten through eighth grade dual language immersion program in the next few years.

 Frequently Asked Questions

What is dual immersion?

  • Instruction occurs through two languages, where Spanish is used for a significant portion (at least 50%) of the students’ instructional day (PK–5) or two periods (6–12). 
  • Both native English speaking and Spanish speaking students receive academic instruction separately in two languages.

What are the major goals of dual immersion?

  • High levels of bilingual proficiency
  • Biliteracy—read and write at/above grade level in both languages
  • Content area (math, science, social studies) achievement at/above grade level
  • Socio-cultural competencies

What are the eight critical components of dual immersion?

  • Instructional design promoting bilingualism, biliteracy, and achievement 
  • Raising the status of the target language
  • Leadership and support
  • Quality of the instructional staff and professional training
  • Positive reciprocal climate
  • Separate language blocks
  • Linguistically balanced classrooms
  • Home-school collaboration

Documents for Dissemination

TECA has had the opportunity to work extensively on improving our dual language program, in part due to the financial support we received from the CDE Charter Schools Office Dissemination Grant. Because we have had this time to work, we would like to share various items we have developed that we believe are crucial to the development and continuation of a successful dual language program. 

If you currently have a dual language program at your school, or are looking to start one, please feel free to use these documents and adapt them to your community's needs. For more information about these documents, please contact TECA.

Below are some documents to support the development and successful growth of a dual language program.

Below you can find blank copies of TECA's documents so that you can use them as a template for your own program.

Resources

Here are some resources for dual language programs that we have found to be helpful in terms of finding research to support your own program, resources, and collaboration with colleagues.