At HudsonWay Immersion School (HWIS), considered one of the best private schools in New Jersey and New York City, our Spanish and Mandarin immersion students develop bilingualism, biliteracy, and character education skills. Building on the strong foundation developed in the HWIS preschool program, the Elementary program employs a full language immersion model. Educators systematically teach all content matter in the target language with increasing exposure to English each year, ensuring mastery and depth of understanding of the material by students.
Students receive content instruction in language arts, math, science, and social studies, in the target language for 80% of the day in Kindergarten and Grade 1. As students progress through the program, they spend a gradual increase in time in English. It is through this intensive exposure to academic content in a second language that students develop mental flexibility, which leads to greater cognitive abilities and advanced language proficiency.
Immersion Model in Target Language
The HudsonWay Immersion School curriculum is based on an interdisciplinary and inquiry-based approach that facilitates student mastery of content standards in language arts, literacy, mathematics, science, social studies, and history. Educators use discussion-based, interdisciplinary, project-based learning (DBIPBL) units of study so that students are challenged to think broadly and deeply about essential questions and the application of their skillsets.
HWIS employs flexible groupings and on-going assessments—formative and summative—to ensure that it differentiates and maximizes learning for each student. Students are grouped by language level and across age groups. As a result, standardized test results for our students in grades 3 through 5 show, on average, significantly higher scores in subject matter tested in English as compared to the national norm of independent schools. In addition, HWIS students demonstrate a higher level of language proficiency compared to other immersion programs.
As is the case at most top private primary schools, we recognize the importance of technology and thoughtfully integrate technology with units of studies for students from an early age. Beginning in Kindergarten, all elementary students have access to Chromebooks and other devices such as iPads.