Fifth Graders Graduate MPUSD's Only Dual-Language Immersion Program
June 7, 2012
Eleven graduating fifth-graders were awarded medals of recognition Wednesday at George Marshall Elementary School in Seaside for their bilingual abilities.
They're the first class to complete Monterey Peninsula Unified School District's only dual-language immersion program, where students receive instruction in English half the time and Spanish the other half.
The students—whittled down from about 60 kindergarteners as some failed to keep up—are able to read, write and speak Spanish and English. The kids also learn from each other; half the participants start out fluent in Spanish and half in English.
The next challenge will be for the elementary graduates to keep up their skills beyond their young careers at Marshall: "If these kids are successful at maintaining their language, they will have the opportunity to earn Advanced Placement credit as high school freshmen, learn a third language, travel freely, and have a competitive edge in future careers," teacher Katie Stubbendick Hayden writes by email.
An added benefit of the bilingual education in the classroom, Studdendick says, is that students have expanded their friend groups from a young age.