Spanish Immersion is a way to accelerate language learning from an early age, by immersing students in the Spanish language and culture from the ages of 2-6. Class instruction, student interactions, and all materials are in Spanish only, limiting the use of English helps students focus on learning Spanish quickly to participate and have fun with the rest of the students. Music and theater is also utilized to engage the child and accelerate learning.
Jardín de Mariposas is a commitment to proficiency of Spanish as a second language, and is best for families that are passionate about language learning. We have many international families with multiple languages, families which have traveled or lived abroad for extensive periods, and families who have read about benefits of being bilingual and would like to give it a try. Our school diversity is something that we take pride in and celebrate.
Studies indicate that learning a second language at an early age has many benefits:
- There is a positive effect in cognitive development and intellectual growth
- It fosters cross-cultural understanding and encourages engagement in global conversations
- Students achieve proficiency and depth in the Spanish language
- Research indicates students acquire a native-like pronunciation when learning a language at an early age
No prior Spanish language exposure is needed to enroll your child in our program as we aim to have a mix of native Spanish speakers, bilingual speakers, and English speakers who support each other in language acquisition, whether that is English or Spanish.
Children are encouraged to use Spanish with each other and teachers will guide children by giving them the vocabulary they need to continue playing a particular game is Spanish. We remind our more dominant Spanish speakers to speak in Spanish to support a friend who is still learning. We do still however hear the children use English with each other which is allowed.
There is no evidence to suggest this. A child doesn’t have to be exceptional to be bilingual. As long as the child is exposed to two languages throughout early childhood, he or she will acquire them both. Additional activities at home are not required for a child to learn a second language.
Research consistently has demonstrated that the immersion experience actually enhances English language development. In full immersion, students English development in elementary school may lag temporarily in reading, word knowledge, and spelling while instruction is occurring exclusively in Spanish. However, it is important for parents to understand that this lag is temporary and to be expected.
Jardín de Mariposas School was created to provide an amazing preschool experience for children in Spanish in order to develop language through experiences like a native speaker. Our engaging environment and thoughtful curriculum is developed as we work with the children to give them as many experiences as possible in these important developing years. With our field trips, vegetable garden and Science/Art lab children have the opportunity to thrive in all aspects of their development all while they acquire the Spanish language.
Our goal is total Spanish Immersion. However, English may be used at times to ensure the intellectual, social-emotional, and wellbeing of a student or the group. Developmental milestones, conferences, notices, and newsletters are issued in English.
- Two’s program: 10 students and 2 teachers
- Preschool & TK program: 16 students and 2 teachers
- A dedicated teacher in the Science/Art classroom to assist teachers
- A music teacher for a weekly class in Spanish
Yes, although children will spend an hour in their classroom in the morning for developmentally appropriate activities and gathering time, once they eat snack they are able to play and explore together outside and spend time in the Science/Art lab together.
A long-term commitment is essential for children to experience all the great benefits an immersion education yields. However any exposure to a second language is beneficial for your child. Your child’s language acquisition will be based on number of days and hours of attendance. Parents can support their child in these ways:
- Develop an understanding of immersion education
- Provide experiences outside of school to develop language skills
- Encourage the use of the second language outside of school
- Most importantly, make sure your child attends school everyday
- Volunteer at the school and in your child’s class
There is no parent workday requirement but we do ask parents to volunteer for various activities such as driving for field trips, holiday celebrations, fundraising and staff meals.
We offer tours once a month for families interested in our viewing us in action and learning more about our program. In February we host an Open House and invite all interested families to attend in order to meet our directors and teachers and play in our environment. Attendance is mandatory for enrollment which opens on February 10th for new families.