El Puente Spanish Immersion Program:
Two-Way Immersion Program
At Barnes Elementary
To address the academic needs of the student population of Barnes a dual language bilingual program (English/Spanish) was established during the 1994-1995 academic year. The program immerses students in two languages throughout the year, thereby developing proficiency in both the students' first and second language.
The Puente Program
The program is based on a dual language developmental program. A wholistic educational environment immerses students in English and Spanish, fostering bilingual proficiency.
Language Arts are introduced and taught in Spanish for all students and gradually add English reading and writing instruction while continuing Spanish. Science, Social Studies, Math, and Health are taught through a dual language method. Music, Art and Physical Education are taught primarily in English.
The community which Barnes serves is linguistically and culturally diverse. Language instruction and content instruction are integrated through thematic units which promote understanding and collaboration within the student community. The goal of the program is to ensure educational success and excellence while building on the cultural diversity of the students and the community.
Teachers and support staff are highly qualified, skilled, committed professionals. They represent a broad combination of experiences that enable them to work effectively as a team to meet the needs of all the students at Barnes Elementary.
Current studies in bilingual education demonstrate that students apply their first language knowledge to concepts of a second language, thereby accelerating the acquisition of a second language. This research shows that through bilingual instruction a student can learn a second language with high proficiency without sacrificing academic excellence. In fact, research demonstrates that students in bilingual programs outperform their peers in certain areas.
Benefits Of Bilingualism
This bilingual educational experience will benefit the students in their future educational and vocational endeavors and enrich their lives at the same time.
How Your Child Can Participate
- Students score higher on verbal intelligence tests.
- Students have greater linguistic awareness and mental flexibility.
- Students have greater understanding and are able to communicate with people from their community and other countries.
- Students get a head start on educational language requirements.
- Students have increased job and career opportunities.
Barnes' dual language program is a voluntary neighborhood school program. Students from other areas may be accepted by a transfer process.
For more information on the Puente Project please call or e-mail to: