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introducing: add.a.lingua 90-10 two-way immersion

What is the add.a.lingua 90-10 two-way immersion?

The add.a.lingua 90-10 two-way immersion model was designed to serve students in linguistically diverse communities, where classrooms can include an equal mix of Spanish dominant and English dominant students. Students begin with 90% of their instructional time in Spanish (the immersion language) and 10% in English in kindergarten, and gradually increase the amount of English instructional time until they reach 50% in each language in 5th grade.

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Why do school communities choose the add.a.lingua 90-10 two-way  immersion model?

As Iliana notes in the video, parents chose the add.a.lingua 90-10 two-way model for the benefits it gives their children in terms of academic achievement, cultural awareness, and proficiency in multiple languages.

School communities also choose this model to better serve their English language learner (ELLs) students. One in ten U.S. students qualifies as an English language learner, and unfortunately, this group of students has the lowest graduation rates of all at-risk subgroups.

Lilah Ambrosi and Ken Williams addressed the issue of equity for our nation’s growing number of ELLs last year for Getting Smart. They wrote that the first step to ensuring equity for our nation’s nascent bilinguals requires

adopting an additive approach to language acquisition…the most effective way to help nascent bilinguals develop their language proficiency in English is by first strengthening literacy in their home language. This additive approach typifies quality language immersion programs.

To understand how life changing an add.a.lingua 90-10 two-way immersion program can be, listen to Maria Ibarra, who shared on our podcast last year how Holland Language Academy has changed her family’s life:

This program is helping me, because I’ve become more involved and whatever doubt I have I can solve it because there are people there who can help me. In other experiences, in another school where they spoke solely English, I really struggled to express concerns that I had about my child, and they couldn’t help me because I didn’t know English and I didn’t understand them. For me, there were many experiences that were extremely difficult, and so truthfully, I sometimes cried because of an inability to advocate, because of feelings of desperation…all because I didn’t know English…thank God that I found this program and my life has changed. My son’s life has changed. His self esteem. He doesn’t want to miss a single day of school.

Where can you find an add.a.lingua 90-10 dual language immersion program?

Three of our partner schools, (Holland Language Academy, Corpus Christi Catholic School, and Holy Cross School) have implemented this add.a.lingua model in order to help their students gain high proficiency in two languages, boost academic achievement, and enlarge their cultural intelligence.

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Is an add.a.lingua 90-10 two-way immersion program right for your community?

If you have a passion for ensuring educational equity for all students in your community, and for meeting the needs of linguistically diverse families, an add.a.lingua 90-10 two-way immersion program might be a great fit for your school. Let’s talk!


Our special thanks go to add.a.lingua partner program, Holland Language Academy and principal Ochoa, for opening their doors and hearts to us. ¡Abrazos!

learn more at:
video music provided by:

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