FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is language immersion?
Language immersion (also called dual language, one-way or two-way immersion) is a method of teaching in which students learn a second language through traditional classroom instruction provided in the 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 or Spanish from kindergarten through second grade, depending on your choice for your child’s target language. From third grade onward, students get part of each day’s instruction in English, gradually increasing the percentage of English instruction each year—though never more than 50 percent of the core instructional day will be in English.
Why 100% immersion?
100% immersion may seem like a lot—especially for young children. But learning a language is more than just learning 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 or tones. Students learn to speak the target language and will sound the same as native speakers. They pick up the sounds, patterns, 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, English is spoken during music, physical education and technology classes.
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 kindergarten classes are around 30 children per class. As the classes go up, they tend to get smaller. In general, class size hovers around 25, but we do have some classes as small as 15. Currently, we have a teaching assistant in each classroom.
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. Please contact the school for more information on these programs.
Does DLS offer before and after care programs?
Yes, DLS has before care from 7:30-7:50 with a free breakfast for all students. After school, DLS offers after care through Kaleidoscope and Fun Club.
How do I enroll my child in 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 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.