The Duality Of Language: Dual Immersion Soon Coming to NAHS

Dual Dubs: Atlanta Public Schools upcoming language Dual Immersion program is projected to improve linguistics and college acceptances at North Atlanta.

Dennis Racket

Dual Dubs: Atlanta Public School’s upcoming language “Dual Immersion” program is projected to improve linguistics and college acceptances at North Atlanta.

Only 20 percent of linguists in the United States are considered bilingual, which is a staggering statistic, especially when compared to the 50 percent that is the rest of the world. In order to save this sad statistic, in 2015, Atlanta Public Schools began to introduce the “Dual Immersion” program to our elementary schools. In simple terms, the program begins with the students in kindergarten, and follows them throughout their primary, middle and high school education, but here is the twist: half of their day is completely taught in spanish. The idea was to immerse the kids into the idea of two languages, while also teaching them the four core subjects. The process is a lottery, as it can only hold up to 45 students. Furthermore, since the idea was introduced to the school community, parents have jumped at the chance to enter their kids into the language lottery.

While this program is basically a big green flag, there are some attributes to it that are not-so appealing in every light. For example, the inability to learn with varying people every year. The majority of people agree that learning how to participate in social activities with different people in your younger years is vital to development, but the dual immersion program could limit that social interaction. “I believe the program should be continued but with a set curriculum set in place that goes from kindergarten all the way through 12th grade.” Said APS Dual Immersion fifth grade teacher Alexsandra Diazschweitzer, “Most of the time the DLI teachers are having to find their own resources because there aren’t any readily available to them.”

The most relevant attribute to this program is its new emphasis on continuation through high school. This requires teachers with different skill sets, while still allowing these students to have a full high school experience. When asked about the introduction of dual immersion to North, Assistant Principal Dr. Yamilsa Roebuck said, “I think that this program should undoubtedly be continued here at North Atlanta when the time comes. It would allow these students to not only perfect the language, but also allow them to share it with their peers in a more substantial light.”

Not only will the linguistic side of this program thrive at North, it will also improve overall acceptance and success rates through college and even, eventually, career. Being bilingual improves a person’s multi-tasking, communication, and problem solving skills. “I think dual immersion opens doors to different worlds when coming to academics.” Said Roebuck, “It helps develop culture, which is the vessel to the world.”

Our increasingly globalized world is calling for more who are multilingual. Now, thanks to this soon-to-come program, more Dubs will be able to go globally while learning a new language locally.