FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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What is dual language immersion education and how does it work?

Dual language immersion (DLI) education is an approach to learning language where a portion of the school day is taught in the second language, also known as the target language. This includes the study of the second language as well as subject content.  Studies show that immersion education students outperform students in traditional foreign language classes, do as well as or better than non-immersion students on standardized tests, and have a greater appreciation of cultural diversity and obtain a high level of intercultural competence.

 

The goal of immersion is to provide educational experiences that support academic and linguistic development in two languages and that develop students' appreciation of their own and other cultures.

 

In order to make academic lessons comprehensible to learners and to support their second language learning, immersion teachers - who are typically native or native-proficient in the immersion language - use a vast repertoire of instructional strategies as they cover the curriculum.

Why should I consider enrolling my child in an immersion program?

Research has shown that DLI students consistently meet or exceed academic expectations, especially in the following four areas:

 

  • Second-Language/Mother-Language Skills

 

If the target language is your child’s second language, DLI enables your child to obtain functional proficiency in the target language according to their age and grade level (depending on when he/she began DLI).  Also, your child will have a much better learning outcome because DLI is more effective than the traditional language teaching model.

 

If the target language is your child’s heritage language, DLI enables your child to continually develop the language in an academic context. The goal is to help the child to achieve an executive level of language proficiency and a deep understanding of the literature and culture of the heritage language - which opens a wider door to more opportunities.

 

  • Performance on Standardized Tests

 

Dual language immersion students perform as well as or better than non-immersion students on standardized tests across all academic subjects.

 

  • Cognitive Benefits

 

Immersion students develop greater cognitive flexibility demonstrating increased attention control, better memory skills, better multi-tasking skills and greater nonverbal problem-solving abilities and more flexible thinking. 

 

  • Intercultural Competency

 

Research has shown that DLI students gain deeper insights into other cultural perspectives and intercultural competency, which is defined as the ability to communicate in culturally appropriate ways.  DLI students also show appreciation and understanding of others and maintain a spirit of openness and respect for others.

 

  • Economic Advantages of Bilingualism

 

International corporations prefer to hire people who speak a second language. Several studies show that knowing a second language boosts earning power. According to a Canadian study, bilingual men earn 3.6% and bilingual women earn 6.6% more than their English-only peers. The twist: this was true even if they didn’t use their second language for work.

 

  • Physiological Benefits

 

Studies show that bilingual speakers develop a physically stronger, more vibrant brain. This enables bilingual speakers to delay and/or avoid brain disease, such as Alzheimer disease and dementia, for approximately five (5) years longer than monolingual speakers.  The brain is a muscle after all, the exercise of switching between two languages or among more than two languages builds certain areas of the brain.  Thus, bilingual speakers literally have stronger, better brains.

What are the cognitive benefits of dual immersion?
  • Mental Flexibility

Bilinguals are better able to analyze their knowledge of language. They learn that there are at least two ways of saying the same thing and understand the relationship between words and their meaning. They are able to focus more on meaning and take into account only relevant features when there is distractive information. Bilinguals demonstrate more mental flexibility and perform better on tasks requiring mental manipulation. They are original in verbal expression, demonstrate non-verbal intelligence and can answer open-ended questions more freely than monolinguals (Lazaruk, in press).

  • Increased sensitivity to others; heightened awareness, receptivity and appreciation of language.

Students with two well-developed languages are more sensitive to communication. There is some evidence to suggest that they are better able to understand the needs of others and to respond appropriately. Through exposure to cultural differences they may become more respectful of differences between people and their cultures and may be able to communicate with a large variety of people

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The old teacher never saw me; he lived long before my time. Though I may never meet him, I can see the road he traveled. With his wise road before me, what reason for me to stray?

                                                     -Yi Hwang

What are the employment benefits of dual immersion?

Bilinguals have access to a wider range of national and international jobs. Thousands of businesses operate in more than one language – airlines, import-export companies and other international businesses require employees with second-language skills and cultural sensitivity. Demand to prepare students for a global job market and competition to attract students have doubled the number of immersion programs since 2006.

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How does immersion differ from other types of language instruction?
In traditional second language instruction, the target language is the subject of instruction. Immersion programs use the target language for instruction and as a means of communication. This authentic communication allows students to learn a second language in a similar manner to the way that they have learned their first
Do children need above average academic ability to succeed in immersion?
Students with lower academic ability do as well in immersion as they might in English programs and have the additional benefit of bilingualism. Researchers found that “below-average students in immersion scored at the same level as below-average students in the English program on English language and academic achievement tests.” In addition, “below-average students in immersion scored significantly higher on second-language tests than the below-average students in the English program” (Genesee, in press).
Is DLI Only For Above-Average Students?

DLI has been proven through research to be effective for all learners, including students with many special education needs, socio-economic challenges, gifted-talented students, and non-native English speakers (of any language).

Why should I choose Korean language for my child's immersion education?
 
Choosing a Korean immersion education for your student gives him/her a competitive edge to participate in the global economy. 

South Korea is one of the world’s wealthiest nations. It is a member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and G-20 major economies. South Korea's market economy ranks 15th in the world by nominal GDP and 12th by purchasing power parity. It is still one of the fastest growing developed countries. 

South Korean's semiconductor, automobile, shipbuilding, steel making, and IT industries are on the leading edge in global markets. South Korea is home to Samsung, LG, Hyundai, Kia, Hyundai Heavy Industries (#1 shipbuilder in the world), and Posco (3rd largest steel manufacturer in the world). 
Why choose Yi Hwang Academy of Language Excellence (YHALE)?
  • Intercultural Competency - YHALE’s dual language immersion program incorporates an emphasis on culture.Intercultural competency will equip our students for the ever-changing world.
     

  • Eastern and Western education blend – Part of YHALE’s goal is to blend the best educational practices of the East and the West.Thereby, providing the very best education and experience in a small school setting.
     

  • Gifted level curriculum - Personalized learning through (ICM).ICM is a curriculum that was originally created for gifted classes but has proven very effective among all levels of students.
     

  • Singapore Math – Singapore Math will be offered at YHALE. Singapore Math is an internationally-recognized, highly successful, applied mathematics curriculum. Singapore Math is best known for its ability to help students understand the “why” behind math concepts, by teaching mathematical concepts from concrete through pictorial to abstract. This develops key critical thinking skills, linking math to our daily lives. Singapore Math employs systematic use of word problems as the way of building the semantics of mathematical operations, which teaches students to conceptually understand a problem instead of relying on “clue” words. In addition, pre-alegbra is embedded throughout the K-5 scope and sequence.
     

  • Differentiated Instruction – This a teaching strategy that assesses each student’s skills and abilities and allows the teacher to group a class into sections based on those assessments and then to teach according to each section’s level and needs. Some sections could be comprised of only one student if that student is on a level that is different than all other students in his/her class.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Some information adapted from carla.umn.edu

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