Welcome to La Academia! (English)
¡Bienvenido a La Academia! (Español)
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a dual language immersion program?
In a dual language immersion program, students receive instruction in both English and a partner language.
La Academia is a two-way immersion program that combines students from two language groups for instruction in both
of their languages. Each class will include at least one-third Spanish-speaking students and at least one-third Englishspeaking
students. In a two-way dual language program, all students have the opportunity to be both first language
models and second-language learners.
How much time is spent during a school day in each language?
La Academia’s instruction begins with 90% of the core academic instruction in Spanish and 10% in English in
kindergarten. The percentages shift over the course of elementary school to 50%-50% at 5th grade.
Will children study the same curriculum as kindergartners not enrolled in La Academia?
Yes. La Academia covers the same curriculum and holds the same standards for success as in our traditional program.
Teachers are licensed elementary teachers proficient in Spanish and English.
Do any other school districts use a dual language immersion approach?
Yes. Dual immersion programs can be found across the country, but we are unique in the west metro area. Working with
the CARLA Institute (Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition) at the University of Minnesota, Eastern Carver
County Schools chose the two-way, dual language approach as the best fit for our student population.
How does a typical school day in a dual language immersion program differ from the traditional school day?
A typical day in a dual language immersion program looks very similar to a traditional classroom. Students work toward
the same academic standards, attend specialist classes, and go to lunch and recess. Students have access to Club Care
before and after school. Teachers in dual language immersion may be especially animated as they use unique methods
and strategies to help students learn a new language…lots of gestures, pantomimes, songs, props, and other instructional
tools essential for success in a dual language program.
What should parents consider before enrolling a child in La Academia?
Are you comfortable with second languages and other cultures?
As the parent of a child in a dual language immersion program, you may not understand some of the homework. There will
be ways of interacting you may not understand. If you like the idea of learning along with your child and don’t mind asking
questions when you don’t understand, this program may be a good fit for your family.
Does the idea of your child learning to read and write in Spanish before English make you nervous or excite you?
We will concentrate on Spanish in Kindergarten through second grade. Formal training in reading and writing in English
does not begin until the middle of second grade.
What are the characteristics of students who are successful in a dual language program?
Successful programs around the country have identified several characteristics of successful dual language students:
They enjoy learning new things. They like meeting and interacting with people from different linguistic and cultural
backgrounds. They have parents who strongly support the program and transmit their enthusiasm to their children.
Finally, successful students embrace the philosophy of dual language education; they persevere during challenging times
and learn to take risks in speaking and writing a second language.
Are you flexible?
La Academia is a fluid, dynamic program. We continue to evaluate and change our program as it develops.
Are you willing to make a commitment?
La Academia is not a one-year program. We are asking families who sign up for La Academia to continue in the dual
immersion program for the entire elementary sequence. Courses are being developed for immersion students at the
middle and high school levels as well.
How do I find additional information on La Academia?
Eastern Carver County Schools invites parents interested in enrolling their child in La Academia to attend an information meeting in January.
Attendance is required of parents who enroll their child in the dual language immersion program.