Dual Language Immersion FAQs
Advocates for Language Learning, A.L.L., is a non-profit 501(c) volunteer organization that supports and fundraises for the benefit of the bilingual education of students in Saddleback Valley Unified School District’s award-winning Dual-Language Immersion Program—also referred ti as the Spanish Immersion Program. We are proud that all proceeds generated through donations and fundraising go directly to benefit the students and the resources of the program. The funds raised by A.L.L. provide valuable resources for each immersion student in grades K-12, ensuring the greatest educational advantages as bilingual citizens in two of the world’s top three languages. Your child directly benefits from A.L.L’s fundraising efforts in several ways:
- Spanish library books for all three schools
- Translations for Reading Counts tests
- Cultural field trips
- Senior Recognition Celebration
- Recognition pins and cords for 6th, 8th and 12th grade promotions.
- Special family events, including Dia de los Muertos.
- DELE Exam costs for high school students (Regular Cost is $200 per student, with ALL support is $100 per student). This exam is the official accreditation of the degree of fluency of the Spanish language, issued and recognized by the Ministry of Education and Culture of Spain.
Parents of students enrolled in the Immersion Program are automatically members of A.L.L. However, we welcome support from our community for this incredible program. Tax-deductible donations and event sponsorships are popular ways our community participates.
The multi-award winning SVUSD Dual-Language (Spanish-English) Immersion Program began in 1991 and is designed to provide English-speaking and Spanish-speaking students an exciting, enriching, and challenging educational opportunity for 21st century learning. Students learn to collaborate, communicate and think critically in all academic content areas in both Spanish and English. By the end of twelfth grade, students have obtained the bilingual skills and multi-cultural competencies needed to succeed in our global society and economy. Goals and Benefits:
- Develop high levels of proficiency in English and Spanish.
- Ensure academic excellence in the two languages as outlined in the Common Core State Standards.
- Cultivate an understanding and appreciation of other cultures and strengthen positive connections among students, their families, and the greater global community.
- Develop flexibility in thinking through problem solving, conceptualizing, and reasoning in two languages.
- Empower parents to actively participate in their child’s education.
The Saddleback Valley Unified School District’s Dual-Language Immersion Program is an option for all students of families that reside within our district boundaries, including the following cities in southern Orange County, CA:
- Foothill Ranch
- Laguna Hills
- Lake Forest
- Mission Viejo
- Rancho Santa Margarita
- Trabuco Canyon
Because the program is located on the campuses of Gates Elementary, Los Alisos Intermediate and Laguna Hills High Schools, students living in the boundaries designated to attend those schools receive first priority and register directly at their assigned school. If your student resides anywhere in the Saddleback Valley Unified’s boundaries and would like to enroll your student in the SVUSD Dual Language (Spanish-English) Immersion Program, you will need to apply for School Choice through the SVUSD website. If SVUSD is not your home district, we do have a process to apply to the Dual Language (Spanish-English) Immersion Program. You will need to complete an Inter-District Transfer.
The Dual Language Immersion Program is a challenging and rigorous academic program in which Spanish is used as the primary language of instruction in the younger grades. The optimal classroom population is half native English-speaking students and half native Spanish-speaking students. SVUSD implements a 90/10 immersion model in which kindergarten and first grade students receive 90% of daily instruction in Spanish and 10% in English. The percentage of English instruction increases as seen below.
|Gates Elementary School||Percentage of Day Taught in Spanish/English|
|Kindergarten and First Grade||90% Spanish/10% English|
|Second Grade||80% Spanish/10% English|
|Third Grade||70% Spanish/30% English|
|Fourth Grade||60% Spanish/40% English|
|Fifth and Sixth Grades||50% Spanish/50% English|
|Los Alisos Intermediate School||Courses taught in Spanish: Spanish Language Arts, Science and History|
|Laguna Hills High School||Courses taught in Spanish: TWI Spanish 3, International Relations & Globalization, AP Spanish 4, World History, Spanish Literature and AP Spanish Literature|
Not at all. In fact, students in language immersion programs often score higher on standardized testing reading in English than those students who are only taught English. Early in the language immersion education, students may be able to read better in one language than the other. However, this is a normal part of learning to read and by fifth grade, the majority of immersion students read at or above grade level in both languages.
Immersion students are bilingual/bi-literate, have taken two AP Spanish courses that can be applied for college credit, have an opportunity to earn an additional diploma from ISA, receive special recognition from SVUSD, and have the achievement of participation in the Dual Language Immersion Program for their college applications.
Students in kindergarten and first grade are admitted into the program through a priority system. English speakers may enter into first grade up to the end of the first trimester depending on space availability. Spanish speaking students and bilingual students may be admitted at any grade based on assessment results.