Dual Language Program

St. John Vianney School has the honor of being the first dual language program in the Diocese of Orlando.  It brings our mission statement to a lived reality.   We are a communion of cultures seeking to evangelize.  St. John Vianney students are empowered to reach their full potential in their diverse world.  

Q: What are a study school and partnership with Boston College?  
A: As a study member group, St. John Vianney School has access to resources and participation with other dual-language schools in the formation of a successful program.  It allows time for discernment of our school’s potential for full membership as a part of the Two Way Immersion Network for Catholic Schools.  A partnership with Boston College allows us access to the best development and research of language immersion education.  Joining the TWIN-CS assists us in transforming into the school our team envisions it to be:  a vibrant, diverse, Christ-centered learning environment for all children who walk through our doors.

Q: What does TWIN-CS mean?
A: TWIN- CS is an acronym for Two Way Immersion Network for Catholic Schools.

Q: What is Dual Language Education?
A: SJV is a culturally and linguistically diverse community.  Dual language education takes advantage of the school’s community gifts of language and culture and places students together to learn from one another about their language and culture.  The best way to learn a new language is in real-life, everyday situations.  The goal of the program is for students to become bilingual, bi-literate students who will have an advantage in a multicultural world.

Q: How does this affect St. John Vianney in 2017-2018 and beyond?
 A:  Progression of 50-50  Two-way immersion

2017-2018 PreK 4
2018-2019 Kindergarten
2019-2020 First Grade
2020-2021 Second Grade
2021-2022 Third Grade
2022-2023 Fourth Grade
2023-2024 Fifth Grade

The goal is they will be bilingual and bi-literate and achieve academically at or above grade level in both languages.
By 2026 St. John Vianney School will be a fully bilingual – dual language school.Both language groups will be integrated for content instruction.  The environment promotes language and social equality while supporting full bilingual proficiency for both native and non-native speakers of English.

Q:  In a dual language program does the teacher translate for the students?
A:  No, the teachers maintain instruction in one language for the entire time in the immersion classroom.  Teachers encourage peer support and communicative interactions.  The goal is to provide 50% of the instructional time in Spanish and 50% in English.  Students receive instruction in both languages for reading, language arts, and math.

Q:  How soon will my child show progress in second language acquisition?
A:  The research shows that it takes from 3 – 7 years to develop native-like proficiency in a second language.  If a child has little or no exposure to a second language, he/she will go through a silent period.  It is during this time that the student will not respond orally in the second language.  It is important to encourage them to speak in whatever language they feel comfortable.  As they increase their comprehension, they will slowly begin to respond in their second language.

Q: What are the benefits of Second Language Acquisition?
A:
-Creates open-minded children by giving them access to different cultures.
-Makes learning a third or more language much easier.
-Gives twice the enjoyment of reading and writing.
-Fosters understanding, appreciation, and respect of differences.
-Increases self-esteem and confidence in social interactions.
-Positive effect on intellectual growth.
-Increased thinking flexibility.
-Fosters adaptability to new situations and contexts.
-Improves a child’s ability to focus on an individual task.
-Children who learn a second language before the age of five have been shown to have the denser gray matter in their brains than their monolingual peers. A higher density has been correlated with increased intellect.
-Provides better economic and employment opportunities.
-English, the most common language in the U.S., is only third on the list of the most popular native languages worldwide – it ranks well behind Chinese, and just behind Spanish.
-Children who grow up learning to speak two languages are better at switching between tasks than are children who learn to speak only one language.
-Recent studies of children who grow up in bilingual settings reveal advantages over single language children, including both increased attentive focus and cognition. Compared to monolinguals, the studied bilingual children, who had had five to ten years of bilingual exposure, averaged higher scores in cognitive performance on tests.
-The developing brains of children in bilingual environments appear to build strength, speed, and efficiency in their executive function networks.
-For Spanish-speaking children, bilingual education will help them adapt better and faster to the curriculum and the culture, and for English-speaking children, it will develop cognitive flexibility among many other benefits.
From an article on www.pbs.org/parents: “Surprising Advantages of Bilingual Education,” by Bridget Bentz Sizer

Information from the U.S. Secretary of Education, John B. King recognizes the universal facts that the number of children ages 5 – 17 in the U.S. who speak a language other than English at home has more than doubled in the past three decades.  These home languages are an asset that should be valued. The research shows that supporting bilingualism from early ages can have wide-ranging benefits.  In June 2016 the White House announced a new Federal Policy Statement on more effectively supporting dual language learners in early childhood programs.  It recommends that all states and local communities work together to ensure that all early childhood programs are welcoming and linguistically accessible to families.

More questions? Please reach out to Ms. Marshall, Principal.

TWIN-CS Program Goals

Bilingualism: Development of high levels of oral proficiency in the student’s first and second language

Bi-literacy: Perform at or above grade level in academic areas in both languages

Multiculturalism: Demonstrate positive cross-cultural attitudes, behaviors, and high levels of self-esteem

Family Involvement

Family involvement is an important and essential component to the program and its success.
Families become active in their child’s education through at home assignments, school programs, and online videos.

St. John Vianney School Will Be First in the Diocese to Become Dual Language
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