Dual Language Instruction
In the Fall semester of 2016, students in Pre-K & Kindergarten began receiving fifty percent of their instruction in Spanish and fifty percent in English every day. The Academy of Saint Matthias the Apostle is one of 19 schools nationally to be a part of the Two-Way Immersion Network of Catholic Schools as a part of Boston College’s Roche Center for Catholic Education.
Dual language programs provide a wide array of benefits for all students, including:
- Enhanced brain development; leading to better thinking, mathematical and problem-solving skills.
- Higher academic achievement in all subjects
- Additional knowledge and understanding of one’s native language.
- Greater understanding, appreciation and respect for other languages and cultures.
- Ability to communicate with other ethnic and cultural groups.
- Better employment opportunities once school is completed.
Saint Matthias uses the 50/50 model of dual language instruction: Students receive 50% of their instruction in English and 50% of their instruction in Spanish.
What is Two-Way Immersion?
Two-Way Immersion (TWI), recognized nationally as the most effective approach to bilingual education, blends native English speaking students with peers who are native in another language. With twenty percent of the U.S. population speaking a language other than English at home, multiple approaches to educating students with limited English proficiency exist. Typically, these students are provided supplemental assistance focused on English language development. TWI differs from such approaches in two key ways. First, it supports bilingualism and bi-literacy. English learners become fluent in both English and their native language, typically Spanish. Second, it supports bilingualism and bi-literacy for native English speakers, as well. Specifically, English language learners are not separated from their native English classmates, but instead, all students serve as language models for one another, and thus become bilingual together. As such, TWI not only prepares all student participants to be bilingual and bi-literate citizens in an increasingly diverse world, it deeply respects the minority language students’ identity and family culture. The Two-Way Immersion Network for Catholic Schools (TWIN-CS) will provide an opportunity for selected Catholic schools to adopt a TWI approach to bilingual service delivery.
For more information about dual immersion education, please visit the following websites: