10 Kindergarten Classes Will Spend Half The Day Teaching In Spanish
by Parth Shah
One in every four Madison public school students is a non-native English speaker with more than half of those students speak Spanish at home.
Now, 10 Madison schools will test out a new type of language immersion program next year. Silvia Romero-Johnson, who leads the district’s global education department, said national data suggests it should take up to seven years for English Language Learners, or ELLs, to become proficient in English.
“The average length of time it takes ELLs in (Madison Metropolitan School District) is 10.5 years,” she said. “We want that time to be shorter.”
Romero-Johnson said the district needs to change the way it introduces language to students. Next year, 10 elementary schools will offer dual immersion kindergarten classes.
“Half of the day will be in Spanish and the other half would be in English,” she said.
Fifty percent of the seats will be reserved for non-native English speakers. They’ll continue taking dual immersion classes until they graduate, officials said.
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