Dual Language Immersion Program
The demands of 21st century careers require students to perform job responsibilities and duties that transcend across disciplines, languages, and cultures. The education of our students is of critical importance in preparing them to compete in a global society and economy. Promoting Multilingualism and Multiculturalism, encourages and prepares students to be linguistically and academically competent in more than one language and to develop a broad sense of multicultural appreciation and proficiency. Fontana USD’s Dual Language Immersion (DLI) program provides English Learners (EL) and monolingual students the opportunity to develop the bilingual and bicultural competencies to develop as highly engaged and prosperous citizens of a dynamic global community, nation, and world.
FUSD’s Dual Language Immersion program provides grade-level content and literacy instruction to all students through two languages, a partner language (i.e. Spanish) and English. Our DLI program develops the three core goals of:
- Bilingualism and biliteracy
- High levels of academic achievement
- Sociocultural competency
FUSD offers a two-way DLI program in which approximately half of students are native speakers of the partner language and the other half are native speakers of English. Our Dual Language Immersion program provides a minimum of seven years of instruction, beginning in kindergarten. FUSD is currently planning the expansion of its DLI program into a K-12 program ensuring our students fully achieve the three goals of a DLI program and attain the State and District Seals of Biliteracy. For English Learners, dual language immersion programs offer a positive alternative to monolingual English instruction. EL participation in dual language immersion programs support improved academic achievement, linguistic development, and positive socioemotional outcomes. To provide our English Learners with programs that will continue to develop their emerging bilingual linguistic and academic achievement, we strive to design our DLI classes with an equal ratio of English speakers and English Learners. Our district’s DLI program aims to close the achievement gap for English Learners while providing opportunities for all students to gain valuable multilingual and sociocultural skills that prepare them to thrive in today’s global world.
FUSD offers a 90:10 dual language immersion program model, the partner language is used in kindergarten for 90% of the instructional time and English is used for 10% of the remaining instructional time. At each grade level, the amount of instruction in English will increase by 10%, as indicated on the chart below, and is considered a "sequential literacy" model. This means that literacy in the partner language is developed before moving on to formally developing literacy in English. Beginning in the fifth grade, students spend equal instructional time learning in both the partner language and English.
Studies show that early childhood is the best time for students to learn a second language. During this time, children most easily develop fluency, pronunciation and a natural ease of expression. Students that learn a second language benefit in the following ways:
- Bilingualism and biliteracy in multiple languages
- Academic excellence and achievement
- Positive cross-cultural attitudes and competency
- Greater self-esteem
- Increased participation in advanced academic programs and enrichment opportunities
- Use of 21st Century skills & abilities, including technology
- Increased future college and career options to succeed in a global economy
Fontana Unified School district is a community united to ensure that every student is prepared for success in college, career and life. Our mission is to prepare our students academically and linguistically to meet the changes and needs of our multilingual and multicultural community.
01/07/21 The Art of Communication: Dual Language Immersion in Fontana
Redwood Elementary School principal Eduardo Gomez and Teacher on Special Assignment Isela Ortega discuss the Fontana Unified school’s Spanish dual-language immersion program, the benefits of using a 90/10 Spanish/English model for incoming kindergarten students and importance of parent participation and leadership.