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ECASD Dual Immersion Program off to great start

Eau Claire (WQOW) – Kindergarten students at Longfellow Elementary School are already learning new languages.

Eau Claire Area School District officials said the new Spanish dual language immersion program is off to a great start.

The program teaches kindergarten classes in both English and Spanish. The program was introduced last spring and started on the first day of class earlier this month.

The class of 22 students learns the basic kindergarten curriculum, as well as how to speak, read and write in both languages.

“Our native Spanish speakers, who speak Spanish, are now learning how to read in their first language. But when we’re delivering math instruction then it’s in English,” said Brianna Smit, the English learners coordinator for the Eau Claire Area School District.  “Whereas our non-Spanish speakers are learning how to speak more-so right now and understand Spanish, and those literacy skills will come as well.”

Students in the district are welcome to enroll in the dual immersion program and bus routes are adjusted to accommodate the new option.

Smit said the dual immersion program is set to be a K-5 program, but could be adjusted to expand once this year’s class gets ready for middle school.

Smit said the program is going to be held at just Longfellow Elementary for now, but if there’s a greater need in the future, expansion may be on the table.

McKenna Alexander

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