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    1/19/2018 Letter to DLI Middle School Students about STAMP Testing Spring 2018
    Letter in Spanish

    Seattle World Languages Fair: Languages Lead Us on a Path to Understanding Other Cultures*

    Saturday, March 10, 2018 11:00 am - 2:00 pm
    Seattle World School 1700 E Union St, Seattle, WA 98122

    Information session for families, students, community members, and educators about World Language offerings in Seattle, World Language Credit Testing, Seal of Biliteracy, Dual Language Immersion, Community-Based Organizations, refreshments, and more. 

    Download the Flyer in English
    Amharic | Chinese | Oromo | Somali | Spanish | Tagalog | Vietnamese

    *theme of National Foreign Language Week March 4-10, 2018. Download the poster.



    One of the unique characteristics of Seattle’s International Education policy is the commitment to helping students develop a high level of proficiency in a language other than English by providing a K-12 sequence of language study beginning in Seattle’s international elementary schools. The result of participation in a dual language immersion program from kindergarten through grade 12 should be Advanced level proficiency at the end of high school in two languages.

    The policy refers to “teaching world languages in an immersion setting,” but what does that mean? The terminology around these types of programs has evolved over the past 20 years. At the time that Seattle launched its first International School with this type of language program, it was common to refer to the program as “language immersion” or “partial language immersion” since the students are “immersed” in the immersion language about 50% of the day. (Some schools in other districts offer “full immersion” or 80:20 time model, where 80% of the day is taught in the immersion language and 20% in English.)

    Over the past decade, the terms “dual language” or “dual language immersion” have become more common, especially if there are English Language Learners included in the program who are native or heritage speakers of the immersion language. They are used as an umbrella term for a variety of program models.

    If a program is set up to serve as a bilingual education model with about 50% of the students native/heritage speakers of each language (e.g., Spanish and English), that type of program is called "two-way" as in Two-Way Dual Language or Two-Way Dual Language Immersion. Seattle currently has two Spanish designated Two-Way DLI programs at Beacon Hill International School and Concord International School.

    Helpful resources:

    Elementary Dual Language Immersion

    Seattle currently has five elementary International Schools offering Dual Language Immersion:

    Two elementary Option schools in the NW region offering 1/2 day taught in Spanish or Japanese:
    John Stanford International School
    McDonald International School

    Two elementary Neighborhood schools in the SE region offering 1/2 day taught in Spanish or Mandarin:
    Beacon Hill International School
    Dearborn Park International School

    (expanding to 3rd grade in fall 2017)

    One elementary Neighborhood school in the SW region offering 1/2 day taught in Spanish:
    Concord International School


    Middle & High School Dual Language Immersion Continuation

    There are currently three International Middle Schools in Seattle serving Dual Language Immersion continuation students. Each school has developed its program within certain constraints, such as availability of qualified teachers, number of periods per school day (6 vs. 7, for example), and number of students in the cohort coming from elementary school. The middle school programs are also designed to meet the needs of heritage language learners (children who grew up speaking a language besides English at home and may or may not have had formal schooling in that language).

    • Hamilton International Middle School (NW Region) offers Dual Language Immersion Continuation Language Arts courses in Spanish and Japanese Language Arts (1 period per day) taught by experienced world language teachers geared to preparing students for high-level high school world language classes, including Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB). The Spanish classes have been able to attract a number of heritage Spanish students who joined the program in middle school.
    • Denny International Middle School (SW Region) offers Dual Language Immersion Continuation Language Arts and Social Studies courses (2 periods per day) taught in Spanish, geared to preparing students to be bilingual and biliterate in Spanish and English and able to continue to take academic courses in Social Studies in Spanish in high school, in addition to high-level high school world language classes, including Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB).
    • Mercer International Middle School (SE Region) offers Dual Language Immersion Continuation Language Arts and Social Studies courses taught in Spanish or Mandarin geared to prepare students to be bilingual and biliterate in Spanish or Mandarin and English and able to continue to take academic courses in Spanish or Mandarin in high school. Initially, Mercer was able to offer 1 period per day of Social Studies in Spanish or Mandarin but in fall 2016, they began offering 2 periods per day (Language Arts and Social Studies classes) in Mandarin. The school has also offered after school programs to further supplement language and literacy development.

    The high school Dual Language Immersion Continuation program models are still in development:

    • Ingraham International High School (NW Region) offers International Baccalaureate (IB) level language courses for 11th and 12th graders. In 9th and 10th grade, Dual Language Immersion Continuation students have been taking traditional Spanish and Japanese courses at Level 3 or possibly IB Level 4 (1 period per day) typically. There have not been any content-based courses offered in Spanish or Japanese.
    • Chief Sealth International High School (SW Region) developed its Dual Language Immersion Continuation program for heritage speakers of Spanish who had participated in Denny International Middle School’s program from grades 6-8. In fall 2016, the first group of students who started in Dual Language Immersion in Spanish at Concord International School entered 9th grade at Chief Sealth, and they have had the opportunity to take both World History in Spanish and AP Spanish 5 as a language course. In 10th through 12th grades, they will continue to have opportunities for language study (through IB) as well as Social Studies or other similar classes in Spanish (2 periods per day most years).


    UPDATE: High School Pathway Information for 8th grade Mandarin and Spanish Dual Language Immersion continuation students at Mercer Intl Middle School:

    The Seattle School Board approved Assignment Plan 2017-2018 on January 18, 2017. See: SPS Assignment Plan web pageChief Sealth International High School was designated as the high school pathway for 8th grade Mandarin and Spanish DLI continuation students at Mercer International Middle School for 2017-2018. Families could select Chief Sealth during Open Enrollment and they would be guaranteed placement in the school and might qualify for ORCA cards for transportation. 

    In order to serve the needs of the 8th grade students who preferred to attend their local high school, Franklin High School, the International Programs office is working with Spanish and Mandarin language teachers at Franklin to offer Spanish 4 and Chinese 4 in 2017-2018, in preparation for AP Spanish 5 and AP Chinese 5 in 2018-2019. Based on spring STAMP testing results at Mercer International Middle School, we encourage all of the Mercer 8th grade DLI who are attending Franklin High School to register for Spanish 4 or Chinese 4 next year.

    For more information, contact: Michele Aoki, International Education Administrator
    For enrollment questions, visit: SPS Enrollment