At Valdez, we believe in the power of dual language. The goal of our dual language model is for all of our students to become bilingual and bi-literate in both English and Spanish.
There are endless benefits that come from a bilingual education! We know that bilingual students achieve improved English reading and critical thinking skills. In fact, studies show that on average, dual language students outperform their peers in English-reading skills by a full school year’s worth of learning by the end of middle school!
Dual language students also tend to have higher test scores, report to be happier in school, have better attendance and fewer behavioral problems. Parent involvement at dual language schools is also higher on average. Our language learners also demonstrate greater appreciation, tolerance and respect for people who speak other languages and come from different cultures.
Valdez uses a 90:10 model of Two-Way Immersion (TWI) in which a majority of the school curriculum is taught in Spanish starting in ECE. Students in kindergarten and first grade receive 80-90% of their daily instruction in Spanish and 10-20% in English, regardless of the student’s native language. Each year, students will receive more instruction in English as the percentage of Spanish instruction time begins to decrease. By 2nd and 3rd grades students will receive 50% of their daily instruction in Spanish and 50% in English.
Spanish becomes the vehicle for content instruction and the subject of instruction itself, particularly in the primary grades, where primary age students are taught the Common Core State Standards in Spanish with an emphasis on concrete objects, first-hand experiences, visual aids and hands-on cooperative group learning.