The Nathanael Greene Elementary School aims to prepare students for global citizenship by building upon the linguistic and cultural strengths of our community. Our program begins in Kindergarten and uses a 50-50 model, in which students study language arts and other academic content for half of the day in the partner language and the other half in English.  

Dual language immersion (DLI) programs lead to strong academic achievement, sociocultural competence, and full bilingualism and biliteracy in English and the partner language. Our program uses two teachers, one who instructs exclusively in the partner language for half of the day and a second who teaches in English for the remainder of the day.

The Benefits of Dual Language Immersion

More than 40 years of research consistently documents the power of dual language education to provide students a pathway to achieving high levels of proficiency and academic success in two languages. The benefits of developing full bilingualism and biliteracy are many:

  • Academic Benefits 
    • Improved test performance in English and mathematics
    • Closes opportunity & achievement gaps between English learners and their native English-speaking peers
  • Cognitive Benefits
    • Greater cognitive flexibility
    • Increased attention control
    • Improved memory
    • Superior problem-solving skills
  • Linguistic Benefits
    • 5th graders may be expected to perform at or above the level of many traditional high school language students.
    • By 9th grade, these students will have the linguistic skills to pass the AP language test.
  • Sociocultural & Economic Benefits
    • Appreciation of and more positive attitude toward people who have different cultural perspectives and practices
    • Ability to fully participate in the global community and address global issues
    • Increased economic opportunity across career fields

 

ENROLLMENT

Register your child for school in Pawtucket and complete the Dual Language Immersion Enrollment Application by April 15.

Language requirements

In order to provide effective and continuous Dual Language Immersion Program pathways K-12, the goal of the district will be to adhere to the following processes to assign an appropriate balance of students who are proficient in the partner language (⅓ to ½) and students who have not demonstrated proficiency in the partner language (½ to ⅔) per grade level and classroom.

Kindergarten Entry:

  1. Siblings of students enrolled in the same PSD dual language immersion program will be placed in the program, provided there are a sufficient number of spaces in the grade and program. If there are more siblings than there are spaces available in the program, a random, public lottery will be conducted among sibling applicants for the grade/program.
  2. All other applicants will be entered into a random, public lottery as space is available.

Late Entry (Grades 1-12)

  1. Students who are enrolled in the PSD dual language program in the prior year will continue enrollment in the program, provided they continue to reside in Pawtucket.
  2. If space is identified, ELs who are proficient in the partner language and reside in the neighborhood of the school will have priority placement.  Partner language learners (native English speakers) must pass a language proficiency assessment demonstrating that they are on or approaching grade level in reading, writing, speaking and listening in the partner language.  Assessments for Late Entry are conducted during the summer.

 

FAQs

What Is dual language immersion?

Dual language immersion provides a way to learn academic content while acquiring another language at the same time. Students receive math, science, and social studies instruction in a partner language, such as Spanish or Portuguese. The teaching strategies used support students in learning the concepts and skills for the subject area and develop the ability to read, write, speak, and listen in another target language. 

The goals are for the students to reach high levels of target language proficiency and develop cultural competency while attaining academic achievement that is at or above their grade level.

Will learning in two languages interfere with my child’s English ability? 

Research indicates that students who learn two languages experience cognitive and linguistic advantages when compared to monolingual students. Students demonstrate higher levels of metalinguistic awareness and problem solving.

Who can participate?

The dual language immersion program seeks to enroll students of varying backgrounds and all ability levels. All students are capable of acquiring another language. Applications are open to all students entering kindergarten (and in other grades depending on space and partner language proficiency). 

How do I apply for a dual language immersion program?

Register your child for school in the Pawtucket School Department, and also complete the Pawtucket School Department Dual Language Immersion Enrollment Application / Solicitúd de Admisión para el Programa de Doble Inmersión / Aplicação de inscrição para o programa de imersão de dupla linguagem (bit.ly/PSDDLI19).

Is dual language immersion a gifted/high ability program? 

Dual language immersion is a general education program, not a gifted or high ability program. Research has shown that the dual language immersion program is an effective educational option for children from diverse backgrounds and all ability levels.  

How is instructional time distributed between English and the partner language?

The student’s daily instruction will be divided half in English and half in the partner language.  

How will parents help with homework in a new language?

Only tasks that the student could complete independently will be assigned as homework in either language. This is best practice for all homework assignments regardless of the language. Parents are still encouraged to read daily in their home language(s) to their student. 

Can siblings be in the program?

Siblings of students enrolled in the same PSD dual language immersion program will be placed in the program, provided there are a sufficient number of spaces in the grade and program. If there are more siblings than there are spaces available in the program, a random, public lottery will be conducted among sibling applicants for the grade/program.

Can parents/guardians volunteer in a dual language immersion classroom?

Parents/guardians will be encouraged to volunteer in the classroom and familiarize themselves with the partner language. However, only the partner language is spoken in the classroom. 

Will my student be expected to participate in the dual language immersion program through high school?

In order to fully benefit from the dual language immersion program, we expect that students will commit to the program through high school. 

Why is Spanish the Dual Language Immersion partner language?

Rhode Island political and educational stakeholders identified Spanish as one of the languages critical to Rhode Island’s future economic development, and this is the language most prevalent in our Pawtucket community.  

How can I become a dual language immersion teacher?

Please see information on certification on the RIDE Educator Certification site.

Glossary of Terms

http://www.cal.org/twi/glossary.htm