Immersion FAQs

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is language immersion?

Language immersion is a method of teaching in which students learn a second language through traditional classroom instruction provided in the language they are learning (target language).  Students learn all of their subjects: math, science, social studies and science in the target language.

How much instruction is in the target language?

All core curriculum is taught in either Mandarin Chinese or Spanish from kindergarten through second grade, depending on your choice for your child’s target language.  From third grade through fifth grade, children receive English instruction during English class and one special each day.  In Middle School, students receive half of their classes in English and half of their classes in the target language.  Students are never taught in English for more than half of the instructional day.

Why 100% immersion?

100% immersion may seem like a lot—especially for young children, but learning a language is more than just vocabulary and syntax.  It’s a problem-solving, “knowledge-assembly” task.  Kids need to pay attention to context, interact flexibly with others, and decide what is relevant and what is not. 

100% immersion has been shown in numerous research studies to not only lead to better fluency in the target language for better long-term acquisition of English skills as well.

How are teachers trained?

Both our Mandarin and Spanish teaching staff are made up of native or near-native speakers.  We believe this is important so that our students hear proper pronunciation and usage.  Students learn to speak the target language the same way they learned their own native language and will sound the same as native speakers.  They pick up the sounds, patterns, tones, inflections and rhythms of the language as it is spoken by people native to the language.

Why start with language immersion in kindergarten?

Young learners tend to pick up the music and rhythms unique to different languages.  At birth, our brains are programmed to make sense of speech sounds we hear in our environment to develop our primary language.  Young children are also better able to form their mouths to reproduce the sounds of multiple languages.  This skill becomes much harder after age 9.

Is any English spoken during school?

Yes.  K-2 students are taught in English during specials (music, physical education, art, and technology/life skills).  Students may speak whatever language they choose during lunch and recess.

What is a Charter School?

A charter school is a public school operating as a semi-autonomous school of choice governed by a contract between the members of the charter school community and the local school district.  For more information on charter schools in Colorado, visit the Colorado Department of Education website http://www.cde.state.co.us/

Charter schools are public.  This means that there is no tuition, with the exception of a sliding scale tuition schedule for kindergarten.

Some charter schools tailor their academics to certain curricula, or some to a specific type of student such as gifted students or at-risk students.  Commonly charter schools specialize in an area of study such as science and technology while blending focus on all other academic areas.  The Denver Language School focuses on using language immersion education as a way to achieve academic excellence.

What grades does the Denver Language School serve?

DLS is a K-8 charter.  We offer a full day kindergarten program.  Since public funding only supports a half-day program, tuition is charged on a sliding scale for the full day program.

Does DLS offer ECE?

No, DLS does not currently offer an ECE program.  

What are the classroom sizes like?

Our elementary classes allow for up to 30 students per classroom, with each classroom having a Teacher and a Teacher's Assistant.

Are special education and/or gifted and talented services available?

Yes. DLS offers both support for children qualifying for special education services and for children who have tested gifted and talented.  Our Student Support Team includes SST Coordinators at each campus, a Special Education Coordinator, Social Worker, Middle School Counselor, School Psychologist, and Gifted and Talented Coordinator.

Does DLS offer before and after care programs?

Yes. DLS has a soft start from 7:30 until the start of school, with free breakfast for all students.  After school, DLS offers after care through Discovery Link, Fun Club, Middle School Sports, and other clubs or groups. Fore more information on this click here.

How do I enroll my child in DLS?

Click here to apply

Click here to learn more about the School Choice process at DLS

Is there a dress code?

Yes, students at DLS adhere to a dress code.  Please contact the office with any questions you have or see our uniform policy here.

Why Learn Mandarin Chinese?

Chinese is the world’s most used language – spoken by an estimated 700 million people (as compared to English, which is spoken as a first language by an estimated 400 million people).  Since China joined the World Trade organization in 2001, state and federal governments in the United States have designated Chinese language and culture important educational priorities.

The Chinese language also has cognitive benefits since it requires the use of both the left and right side of the brain due to the tonal features of the language; the right side of the brain is intuitive, while the left side of the brain is logical.  This compares to English-language speakers who predominantly use the left side of their brain when speaking.  The structure of the language of childhood affects how the brain develops.  The Chinese language helps build connections between both sides of the brain.

Why Learn Spanish?

Spanish is the most common second language in the United States and the fourth most commonly spoken in the world (after Chinese, English, and Hindustani).  The Hispanic population is the fastest growing in the United States.  This presents great domestic opportunities, as well as international career opportunities for bilingual professionals.