Our mission is to educate all learners to reach their full potential as contributing and productive members of our ever-changing global community.

FAQ

What is Immersion Education?

Language immersion education is the most effective type of language acquisition instruction. The goal of language immersion is for students to become proficient in the target language and increase cultural and global awareness. Immersion Education:
  • uses a language other than English to teach grade level content
  • integrates language and content
  • promotes additive bi- or multilingualism, (maintenance of the English language both in and out of school)
  • requires teachers who are highly proficient in the target language

Why Immersion? Benefits of Immersion Education:

A growing body of research on the benefits of immersion education suggests immersion students:
  • outperform students in traditional foreign language classes
  • achieve at high levels, in all academic content areas, as well as students in English-only programs
  • demonstrate cultural sensitivity - they are more cognizant and show positive attitudes towards other cultures
  • demonstrate more flexibility in thinking and enhanced sensitivity to verbal and non-verbal cues
  • are able to communicate with people he or she would otherwise not have the chance to know
  • become bilingual and increase understanding of his/her native language
  • display native-like levels of comprehension and fluency confidence when using target language
  • have an increase in jobs opportunities in many careers where they can contribute to the global economy
  • are able to travel and experience other societies and cultures more meaningfully
  • exhibit many cognitive benefits like increased problem solving skills and the ability to think creatively

Where is La ola del lago located?

La ola del lago Spanish Immersion is currently a K-3 elementary located at Edgewood School. We will be adding a new grade each subsequent year until we are a K-5 elementary school in 2019/20. The location is subject to change for future years as we monitor district enrollment growth and development. The Director of Edgewood is Richie Kucinski. School hours are 9:20 a.m. - 3:50 p.m.

Do you provide transportation for Spanish Immersion?

Resident students receive transportation for La ola del lago. Non-resident families who open enroll into the district must provide their own transportation to school or to the nearest bus stop location. Before and after school care is available at La ola del lago through Kids’ Company – 6:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

What does a Kindergarten day look like at La ola del lago?

The immersion classroom is similar to a traditional Kindergarten curriculum, except all classroom instruction is in the Spanish language. In the classroom, the teacher speaks the Spanish language the entire time using expressive tones, exaggerated gestures, facial expressions, and many visual aids. To draw students into using the language, teachers often use songs, useful phrases, chants, and rhymes and carefully structure the day with familiar routines. It is helpful if the parents reassure their child that their teacher does understand them when they speak in English. As the year progresses, the students will begin to use the Spanish they know to speak to their teacher and classmates.

Will standardized tests (MAP and MCAs) be in Spanish or English?

Immersion students will take the same standardized tests in English as other PLSAS students, as these tests are not available in Spanish.

How do I know if a Kindergarten Spanish Immersion program is right for my child?

Spanish Immersion is for all students. Parents should be willing to strongly support the program and transmit their enthusiasm to their children, yet families do not need to speak or be fluent in Spanish at home. Parents should embrace the philosophy of immersion education, encourage children to persevere during challenging times and learn to take risks in speaking, reading, and writing a second language.

If my child is just learning to read and write in English, how can I help them?

Continue reading to your child every day and write with them at home.

What if my child struggles with Spanish Immersion?

Teachers will work to differentiate instruction, just as they do in a typical Kindergarten classroom. Teachers and parents will work together to determine the best course of action for each individual student as the need arises.

How will learning everything in a second language affect my child’s English literacy?

Research consistently finds that the immersion experience actually enhances English language development and learning additional languages actually enhances an individual’s understanding of his or her native language. The concepts, strategies, and skills in reading are transferable across languages. Vocabulary and grammar are only two components of learning to read.

During the primary years, students’ English development may lag temporarily in reading, word knowledge and spelling while instruction is occurring Spanish. However, research consistently finds that by fifth grade this discrepancy disappears and immersion students perform as well - and in many instances better - than their peers.

Will children become proficient in the Spanish language?

After only two or three years in an immersion program, students demonstrate proficiency and confidence when using the immersion language. Their listening and reading skills are comparable to those of native speakers of the same language. Achieving high levels of oral and written proficiency in a second language is a long-term process.

What role do parents play in an immersion program?

Like all parents of children in kindergarten they need to maintain an active role in their child’s education by providing experiences that enrich the English language skills and enhance their cognitive and affective developmental growth. Parents are encouraged to read to their children daily in English and engage them in activities to extend what they are learning in class. Families are also asked to make a long-term commitment to the program.

More Resources

Questions? Please contact Richie Kucinski, Edgewood Learning & Spanish Immersion Coordinator at (952) 226-0903 or rkucinski@priorlakesavage.k12.mn.us

Where can I find more information?

Overview of immersion research all should be familiar with: http://www.carla.umn.edu/immersion/acie/vol10/may2...
FAQs parents ask on immersion education: http://www.carla.umn.edu/immersion/acie/vol10/may2...
Two great 10 minute videos on immersion education in MN: http://www.carla.umn.edu/immersion/immersionmnvide...
American Council for Immersion Education (ACIE) archives: http://www.carla.umn.edu/immersion/acie/index.html
Minnesota Advocates for Immersion Network: www.mnimmersion.org