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Spanish and Chinese Dual Language Immersion Program

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Hello! ¡Hola! NiHao!

Hilton Head Island Elementary School is proud to offer a Dual Language Immersion Program. Students entering first grade have an option to register for Spanish or Chinese Dual Language. This program offers students the opportunity to study content standards in both English and the target language during the school day.

From first through third grade, the target language curriculum includes literacy study and the majority of the content subjects (math, science and social studies). The English curriculum focuses on English Language Arts and some collaborative reinforcement of the content. In fourth and fifth grades, the curriculum shifts as students have acquired more literacy skills in the target language and are working towards mastery of more complex mathematical concepts. Because of that, additional minutes are provided in English math instruction as well as additional minutes for target language literacy study.

For both program models, grade level content standards are the basis of instruction. In addition, focus will be on the reading, writing, speaking, listening and comprehension of the target language. Dual-language students will take the same district and state-wide achievement assessments such as Measure for Academic Progress (MAP) and SC Ready and SC PASS. In addition, language students will take language proficiency assessments annually through AAPPL. Students will receive progress reports, report cards and language proficiency results as determined per the District academic calendar.

Any Hilton Head Island Elementary first grade student is eligible for this program. Students must register for Hilton Head Island Elementary School in order to be considered for this program. If your child is out of zone, HHIE is a School of Choice. Parents that have registered their child for HHIE will be contacted about the language program registration process. Continue to monitor this website for up-to-date information. Registration is typically early Spring (March-April).

Enrollment for this program is based on a first-come, first-serve basis. The school will use a lottery system if the demand deems it necessary. Demographics may be factored into some of the placement decisions. Students must enroll in this program in first grade unless students are native speakers of Chinese or Spanish or are transferring from a similar language program. Students that have an Individualized Education Plan, are identified as English Learners, or students that have met the state criteria for Gifted and Talented Academic program, all can be served through this program.

Parents making this decision on behalf of their child(ren), need to understand that this decision is very important. This program is grades 1-5, with a continuation of a variation of this model through 12th grade. Parents must commit to this program for the long-term and understand the gift they are giving to their children. Learning a language can be very difficult and can cause frustration. Anyone that is involved with this program, needs to be able to see the long term benefit from being bilingual or even multi-lingual. This program is a perfect complement to the International Baccalaureate model which promotes language learning and multiculturalism.

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Language education not only contributes to students’ career and college readiness, it also helps develop the individual as language learners take on a new and more invigorating view of the world. They come to understand the world better because of their knowledge of speakers of another language – of people who share many of the same hopes and dreams for their future. While perspectives may differ among speakers of different languages, more similarities exist than we might imagine. However, it is only through knowing the language of others that we can truly understand how they view the world. And this is what makes the language student a 21st Century skilled learner (ACTFL, 2016).