Spanish Immersion Program
NorthPointe Christian Schools' Spanish Immersion Program serves the greater Grand Rapids area beginning in preschool (age 3), through middle school and now into high school. Our program will continue to grow with our oldest class through high school to support our goals for full language proficiency.
NorthPointe's Spanish Immersion Program has been incredibly successful and stands out amongst area Spanish Immersion programs in students' language reading fluency. Spanish is used as the medium of instruction, rather than the subject of instruction. The youngest learners experience a 100% Spanish environment; this environment creates an incredibly effective way to learn a new language. Older grades gradually incorporate English instruction.
Peek at this national feature of one of our Spanish Immersion teachers:
NPC has contracted with Add.a.Lingua, an organization that helps schools design and implement Spanish Immersion programs. The curriculum used in these classes is aligned with state and national standards of excellence, based on the latest research and child development teaching methods.
All NorthPointe Christian Spanish Immersion teachers are certified educators. Additionally, all are Native speakers or have had overseas experience studying, living, or mission work in various Spanish speaking countries. Native speaking paraprofessionals are present in our Spanish Immersion classrooms full-time to enhance the educational needs of the students and create an environment for broader language exposure.
Why choose Spanish Immersion?
The ability to understand and speak more than one language is not the only benefit of immersion education. Research shows that students gain additional cognitive benefits, academic benefits, and employment benefits. Dual language also has the benefit of expanding cultural awareness and enlarging the heart. Immersion programs are the fastest growing and most effective type of foreign language program currently available in US schools (Met, 1998).
Young children tend to absorb a language through massive amounts of input and exposure. They do not learn by translating between Spanish and English; rather they begin to think in Spanish, and then read, write and speak in Spanish as well.
Students Immersed in the Spanish Language:
• Learn receptively, much as babies acquire their native language.
• Experience many visuals, actions, songs, repetition, movements, and other strategies used to reinforce new learning.
• Attain developmentally appropriate bilingualism by 5th grade.
• Transition to traditional classes in 6th grade while taking courses to maintain fluency through high school.
“I just wanted to email you and tell you how thankful I am for the Spanish Immersion Program at NorthPointe. I absolutely love the program! You hired great teachers and the program is so organized and well done, from what I can see as a mother and educator myself.” -NorthPointe Parent
Will this program affect my child's literacy skills in English?
No, almost all aspects of literacy transfer across languages. When your child learns to read in one language, those skills transfer to another language quite easily. Research clearly shows that students in a language immersion program often times score higher on standardized reading tests in English than those students who are only taught in one language. Throughout the language acquisition process, immersion students may be able to read better in one language than the other. However, this is a normal part of learning to read, and eventually immersion students read at or above grade level in both languages.
We are committed to immersing children in the Spanish language and its various cultures in order for them to be better equipped to demonstrate Christ’s love in our increasingly global community.