What It Is
Immersion education programs are courses of study in which students are taught content in two languages. The most common pedagogy for accomplishing this is to use an immersion technique in which no English is spoken during those portions of the day when instructional time is conducted in the second language. Because most of our students are native English speakers, we maximize instruction time in the second language to achieve high proficiency levels in speaking and literacy. Our approach is based on best practices research from all around the world over the past 40 years.
Immersion education has been in existence for over 50 years. It has grown in popularity over the past 35 years with recent heightened interest in Mandarin and Spanish immersion programs in this country. Immersion programs are now the focus of many public and charter programs. Utah, Oregon, Minneapolis, Colorado and California are among many of the states that have made a strong commitment to dual language education from kindergarten through twelfth grade.
Our Immersion Model
HudsonWay Immersion School is unique in that we are the first independent immersion school in the New Jersey/New York area. Our students can begin their immersion experience as early as age two. Because children have a critical window from birth to age 12 in which learning a second language can occur as naturally as learning a first language, students who begin their studies earlier receive distinct advantages. The earlier and more intensive the exposure to a second language, the higher the proficiency attainment will be. We begin with 100 percent immersion for our youngest children and gradually increase the English to foreign language instruction ratio to a maximum of 50 percent by the time students advance to grades four and five. Because our preschoolers build such a strong foundation in two languages, by the time they reach kindergarten they are fully prepared to learn academic content in two languages.
There are numerous benefits to an immersion education.
- Bilingual students consistently outscore monolingual students on standardized tests.
- Problem solving and creative thinking skills are enhanced.
- Bilingual and bi-literate language proficiency leads to more job opportunities both nationally and abroad.
- Dual language study deepens connections to culture and heritage.
- Bilingual study fosters open-mindedness, confidence and comfort with taking risks.