Chinese/Spanish Immersion

Introduction to Chinese Immersion

Introduction to Spanish Immersion

Appoquinimink’s Chinese/Spanish Immersion Program

The Appoquinimink School District offers an exciting opportunity for elementary students to engage in learning in a non-traditional way – by immersing them in two languages and cultures from kindergarten through 12th Grade. Students in the program will become proficient in both languages while learning the same content as their peers outside the program. This "choice" option is available as a Spanish/English Immersion experience or NEW THIS YEAR! a Chinese/English Immersion experience.

What is immersion language study?

It is the fastest-growing and most effective type of world language instruction currently available in U.S. schools. Immersion offers children an opportunity to learn a second language the same way we learn English – by living it. No other type of instruction, short of living in a non-English speaking environment, is as successful.

How does it work?

In an Immersion Classroom, students benefit from two highly-qualified educators – one for each language. An English-speaking teacher will provide instruction in reading, writing and mathematics for half the day. Then students will transition to a Chinese or Spanish-speaking teacher who will deliver lessons (language arts, science, mathematics and social studies) in the second language.

The Immersion Teacher will speak entirely in Spanish or Chinese and communicates using a range of strategies including: pictures, songs, games, body language, expressions, drama, etc. Young learners are adept at acquiring language in meaningful contexts. After a brief period at the beginning of the year, students will be encouraged to speak only in their new language during that portion of the day.

Immersion classes follow the same curriculum, in all content areas, that non-immersion students would follow in any Delaware elementary classroom. They use many of the same materials as their non-immersion peers.

Instructional progression

The goal of the program is to create a continuous, K-12 immersion pathway. Each year, the Immersion Program will “add” a grade as our initial class of Kindergartners moves on to the next level. In middle school, students will continue to read, write and speak in Spanish or Chinese in a variety of settings. By high school, immersion students will be able to take the AP language course in Grade 9 and then participate in dual-enrollment or dual-credit courses with local universities.

Language Immersion is a "school choice" program that begins in Kindergarten. It is available at select schools - see below. Parents are asked to register during the "school choice" window using a "choice" form that will be available beginning November 4, 2019. Click here to begin the registration process​​​​​​​.

Out of district families may also apply but will be responsible for transporting their child the nearest available bus stop within the "choice" school's feeder pattern .

2019-20 School Year: Kindergarten "Choice" Options
Mandarin Chinese OR Spanish

54 slots for incoming Kindergarten

Feeder Schools
  • Kindergarten: Spring Meadow Early Childhood Center
  • Grades 1-5: Old State Elementary School
108 slots for incoming Kindergarten

Feeder Schools
  • Kindergarten: Townsend Early Childhood Center
  • Grades 1-5: Silver Lake Elementary School OR Townsend Elementary School
  • Fall 2020: The program will advance to Middle School
  • Fall 2024: The program moves to High School
Proven advantages

Immersion programs help us prepare our students for the jobs of tomorrow. They give students a tremendous economic advantage in an increasingly competitive world. Research has shown that exposing students to language at an early age has many benefits:
  • Language skills. Students can be expected to reach high levels of world language proficiency. By Grade 9, they will have an opportunity to earn college credit when they take Advanced Placement Spanish and its corresponding AP test.
  • Test performance. There is a positive effect on brain development and intellectual growth. Immersion produces successful learners who perform as well or better than their peers on standardized achievement tests administered in English.
  • Cognitive skills. Dual-language learners demonstrate better attention control, memory, and problem-solving skills; as well as an enhanced understanding of their primary language.
  • Cultural sensitivity. Immersion students have a better understanding of, and appreciation for, diverse cultures.
Who can participate?

The Appoqinimink School District welcomed our first class of language immersion students – Kindergarteners – in Fall 2015. As the program expands with more children and grades each year, so too does the list of participating schools. However, it is important to remember that participants are expected to begin the program in kindergarten.

Families who wish to enroll an incoming kindergarten student must complete an “Immersion School Choice” application (available online in November). A lottery will be held to determine admission if requests exceed capacity.

Please note: Children must be five years old on, or before August 31, to be eligible to attend Kindergarten.

For more information
Appoquinimink School District Immersion Program
Sarah Vieni-Vento, World Language Specialist
313 South Fifth Street
Odessa, DE 19730-4010
302-376-3493 office