Why Language Immersion?
Beginning foreign language instruction early sets the stage for students to develop advanced proficiencies in one or more languages.
Younger learners have the capacity to develop near native-like pronunciation and intonation in the new language. Studies also suggest that children who learn a foreign language receive cognitive benefits that extend to learning in other subjects. Immersed students typically demonstrate higher mental flexibility on tasks, ability to problem solve more fluidly and better communication skills.
Being bilingual enhances opportunities in government, business, law, medicine and health care, teaching, technology, the military, communications, industry, social service, and marketing.
Immersion Programs at PVSchools
Elementary Immersion Programs
Mandarin at Whispering Wind Academy
The Mandarin Chinese immersion program at Whispering Wind Academy is open to children entering Kindergarten to 6th grade. (Visit Whispering Wind Academy's website.) Mandarin Chinese prepares children to be globally competitive and ready for 21st century success. Mandarin Chinese is spoken by one-sixth of the world's population in one of the world’s strongest economies. The U.S. State Department has identified the language as one of 13 in high-demand, but for which there are too few proficient U.S. speakers.
Kindergarten to 6th grade students receive instruction and support in English while learning Mandarin Chinese in an immersion format. In our program, students spend part of the day receiving math and science instruction in Mandarin Chinese, then receive instruction in reading and social studies in English. The goals of the program are to acquire proficiency in listening and speaking, acquire an understanding of and appreciation for other cultures, and acquire some proficiency in reading and writing.
Spanish Immersion at Sandpiper Elementary
In Sandpiper Elementary's immersion program, English-speaking students will spend half of the instructional school day learning subjects in Spanish and the other half learning in English. Students undertake the same rigorous school curriculum in both halves of the day, with the same learning outcomes expected. The program is designed for students in grades K-6, as well as an immersion program for 4-year-old Pre-K children. If you have a student ready for these grades and want to discover more about these programs, please call the Sandpiper Office to schedule a tour.
In the 2018-19 school year, Sandpiper Elementary became an open boundary school, meaning that any Arizona student can apply to the specialized Spanish Immersion program via Open Enrollment.
Middle School Immersion Programs
Mandarin Immersion at Sunrise Middle
Parents want their children academically prepared with the 21st century skill set to compete and succeed in a global marketplace. The Dual Language Mandarin Immersion (DLMI) at Sunrise Middle School provides students with the pathway to achieve this goal.
DLMI at Sunrise features two courses, taught in Mandarin:
- Mandarin Language Arts focuses on using communication, cultures, connections, comparisons, and communities to meet the world language standards. Mandarin is learned and practiced by integrating culture into the whole language instruction process.
- Chinese Culture will consist of an exploration of various themes including, but not limited to, holidays, festivals, customs, China in the past including great historical figures, inventors, and China in the present including an exploration of modern media and communication.
Spanish Immersion at Sunrise Middle
The Dual Language Spanish Immersion (DLSI) Program at Sunrise Middle School provides students with the 21st century skill set to compete and succeed in a global marketplace. From the moment students step into one of the DLSI classrooms, they are fully immersed in the Spanish language and culture.
DLSI at Sunrise features a Science, Social Studies and Spanish block of classes taught completely in Spanish; exploration of Spanish-speaking cultures and societies around the world; conversational skill development; and 1:1 technology along with a Google Jamboard to enhance the learning environment.
High School World Language Programs
Each of our high school offers the opportunity to learn another language or to enrich one's fluency in one of the world languages. Students who excel in one of the world languages have the chance to earn a state-approved seal on their high school diploma.
PVSchools is proud to announce that 139 high school students earned the Arizona Department of Education's Seal of Biliteracy during the 2020-21 school year. Students earned their seal in either French, Somali, or Spanish. The seal recognizes high school students that achieved proficiency in related coursework and completed additional assessments. Students are recognized with a seal on their diploma and a notation on their transcript.
The Seal of Biliteracy encourages students to pursue biliteracy, honors the skills that students attain, and can be evidence of skills that are attractive to future employers and college admissions offices. Congratulations to all of the PVSchools students and teachers for their excellent work.
To see which world language courses are available and where they are located, search our high school course catalog.