Two Way Spanish Immersion
The Saddleback Valley Unified School District K-12 Alternative School Language Academy, currently housed at Gates Elementary School, Los Alisos Intermediate School, and Laguna Hills High School, provides parents with a voluntary educational, parent choice option for their children. The goal of this program is to develop oral fluency and literacy in two languages, Spanish and English, while students are learning the district core curriculum.
Research shows that the second language is best acquired by language minority students when their first language is firmly established (Hakuta & Gould, 1987), and that a second language is best developed by language majority children through immersion in that language (Genesee, 1985). It is felt that the immersion of English proficient students in non-English instruction is beneficial for their acquisition of true communicative proficiency in the second language. Their English language skills, meanwhile, develop unimpeded due to the dominance of English in their socio-cultural environment. For the English language learner, instruction in their native language provides the necessary linguistic foundation for the later acquisition of English and the further development of full proficiency in both languages. In addition, students in the program achieve proficiency in academic subjects and cultivate an understanding and appreciation of other cultures.