Welcome and thank you for your interest in Rockford Spanish Immersion! At Rockford Spanish Immersion, students learn the district’s core curriculum through Spanish rather than English. In other words, students are “immersed” into the language and study the same content as other students, but while doing so, naturally learn to read, write, and speak in Spanish. Spanish is the means of content instruction, not just a subject of instruction. There are approximately 200 school districts across the USA that offer similar immersion options for their students, with the majority of these programs being in Spanish, French, or German. Rockford Spanish Immersion follows a 90/10 immersion model and is intended for non-native speaking Spanish students and families. No Spanish knowledge is required for students entering at kindergarten. Rockford Spanish Immersion is located on the Roguewood Elementary campus and is growing each year. Currently, 300 students are enrolled K-5th grade for the 2013-14 school year.
With solid research to support its effectiveness, the four main goals of immersion education are for students to:
- gain mastery of the district’s grade level curricular objectives and required benchmarks
- develop strong English literacy skills
- develop a high level of proficiency in second language literacy
- acquire a knowledge, understanding and appreciation of other world cultures and people
All Rockford Spanish Immersion teachers are highly-qualified and Michigan-certified early elementary educators. Additionally, all teachers have had overseas experience either studying, living, or working in the various Spanish-speaking countries of Costa Rica, Colombia, Spain, Venezuela, Paraguay, Guatemala, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic.
For parents who would like to provide their child with the opportunity to become functionally proficient in both English and Spanish during their elementary years, and provide them with the skills to interact competently in an increasingly interdependent world, immersion education is a viable option. Because of the nature of immersion, starting early is critical. Therefore, students are only admitted at the kindergarten level each year. If you are interested in enrolling your future kindergartner in Rockford Spanish Immersion, contact Roguewood Elementary at 616.863.6374. An immersion information night prior to enrollment is held each year in January. Applications for kindergarten are distributed and accepted during the month of February prior to each school year. Watch this website for specific dates and times regarding enrollment procedures for the 2016-17 school year starting in January 2016.
More information on immersion education can be found at the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition website: http://www.carla.umn.edu.
Rockford Spanish Immersion
Rockford Spanish Immersion"Providing a World Class Education Right Here at Home!"
Announcements and Information
***School hours for the 2015-2016 school year are 8:30 am-3:40 pm. Students should arrive at school no earlier than 8:15 am for playground supervision.
Contact Principal Hoogerland @ email@example.com
- Goals of the Spanish Immersion Program
In the Rockford Spanish Immersion program, students learn the district's core curriculum though Spanish rather than English. In other words, students are “immersed” into the language and study the same content as other students, but while doing so, naturally learn to read, write and speak in Spanish. Spanish is the means of content instruction, not just a subject of instruction. There are approximately 200 schools across the USA that offer similar immersion options for their students, with the majority of these programs being in either Spanish or French.
The four main goals of Immersion are:
- Mastery of the district’s grade level curricular objectives and required state benchmarks.
- Development of strong English literacy skills.
- Development of a high level of proficiency in Spanish Literacy (Speaking, Reading and Writing).
- Acquire a knowledge, understanding and appreciation of other world cultures and people.
- Immersion as an Instructional Method
Decades of research reveal the positive effects of immersion education as the ideal instructional method to acquire a second language and increase student achievement. Below is a brief review of some of the research.
- An accumulation of research on immersion education concludes that in addition to learning to speak a second language with a near native pronunciation, early immersion students, when compared to non-immersion students, even gain a higher level of achievement in most other subjects by the time they reach 5th grade. (Swain & Lapkin, 1982)
- “Immersion students perform as well as or better than their monolingual English peers on all standardized measures of mathematics, science, social studies and in English language arts after some English instruction has been added to the curriculum.” (Rubio, 1998)
- Study after study has shown there is no negative effect on an immersions student’s English language achievement. The general conclusions of studies show that students enrolled in immersion programs perform as well as or better than students in non-immersion programs on English achievement tests by the time they reach 5th grade. (Downs – Reid, 2000)
- Early language immersion students take advantage of a very important “window of opportunity” for learning a second language by building early language connections in the brain. (Genesee, 2001)
- Over three decades of studies consistently show that immersion students achieve as well as or better than non-immersion peers on standardized measures of verbal and mathematics skills administered in English. (Cloud, Genesee, & Hamayan, 2000; Genesee, 1987)
- Why should I consider enrolling my child in the Rockford Spanish Immersion Program?
- Learning a language before adolescence takes advantage of a very important “window of opportunity” by building early language connections in the brain.
- Learning a language early also provides your child with the time and opportunity to develop a high level of proficiency in Spanish and sound more like a native speaker.
- Immersion students acquire an understanding, knowledge and appreciation toward those who speak other languages and their cultures by learning in a multicultural setting.
- You value the importance of being bilingual and want to provide your child with the skills to interact competently in an increasingly interdependent world.
- How will being in the Spanish Immersion Program affect my child’s English skills?
This is a very common question for parents considering enrolling their child in an immersion program, since English is not formally introduced until second grade. Beginning in the second semester of second grade, English is studied for about 30 minutes a day. As the student progresses through the grades the time spent studying English gradually increases with each grade level. Research shows that immersion students will have a general lag in their English achievement up until third grade. However, at third grade this discrepancy begins to disappear and most immersion students achieve the same when compared to their non-immersion peers. By the time immersion students reach 5th grade, the general conclusions of studies show that students enrolled in immersion programs perform as well as or better than students in non-immersion programs on English achievement tests.
- How do I enroll my Kindergarten student?
For parents who would like to provide their child with the opportunity to become functionally proficient in both English and Spanish during their elementary years, immersion is a viable educational option. If you are interested in enrolling your future Kindergartner in the Spanish Immersion program starting next fall, contact Roguewood Elementary School at (616) 863-6374. Students living outside of the Rockford school district may opt to enroll through the KISD Schools of Choice option. However, students living outside the Rockford school district boundary will only be considered if space in the program cannot be filled by Rockford district residents.
An immersion parent information night is usually held in January with applications being accepted during the month of February. Because of the unique nature of the immersion program’s curriculum, students are initially enrolled only at the Kindergarten level.
Immersion Professional Teaching Staff
All Rockford Spanish Immersion teachers are highly-qualified and Michigan certified early elementary educators. Additionally, all teachers have had overseas experience either studying, living, or working in the various Spanish speaking countries of Costa Rica, Colombia, Spain, Venezuela, Paraguay, Mexico and Dominican Republic.
Native Speaking Paraprofessional Staff
In addition to the professional teaching staff, all immersion classrooms are supported by native speaking paraprofessionals. RSI paraprofessionals represent the countries of Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico.
Rockford Spanish Immersion Information
Please contact our office for a hard copy of our Collection of Immersion Research Articles.
Immersion Education Information
Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition
Center for Applied Linguistics
Participating in the Rockford Spanish Immersion program at Roguewood Elementary School requires parents to be responsible for transporting their student to and from the school. An a.m. shuttle bus to school only from the student’s neighborhood school has been provided, but is not guaranteed.
Rockford Spanish Immersion Informational Video
“To solve most of the major problems facing our country today...will require every young person to learn more about other regions, cultures and languages.”
- Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell