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Blaine County Schools Begin Dual Immersion Language Program

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By Jay Michaels

Bellevue, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) In the last 50 years, the numbers of people coming to America from other countries have continued to skyrocket. Here's how one school district in Southern Idaho is meeting the challenge of teaching in more than one language.

The easiest way to learn another language is to go somewhere that you have to use it to do normal everyday things. That's the basic idea behind the Blaine County School District's "dual immersion" program.

District Representative Heather Crocker says, "The board of trustees, after a two-year process of study, made the decision to create a magnet school in the Blaine County School District. That magnet school will be focused on our dual immersion program K-5."

Crocker says that magnet school will be Woodside Elementary in Hailey. Blaine County School District's dual immersion program means that students from kindergarten through 12th grade will learn all of their subjects in both English and Spanish.

Crocker says, "It was seen as one of the most effective ways to help these students with those learning needs. Then simultaneously it's a wonderful opportunity for native English speakers as well."

Crocker says in Blaine County the biggest number of people who learn English as a second language speak Spanish at home. She says millions of Americans from politicians and parents to teachers and students have been talking about education reform. And that this is how Blaine County schools are moving ahead.

Crocker says, "In Blaine County we don't just wait for that to happen. We're constantly looking at how we can improve for all of our students. The board of trustees takes that process very seriously, and they made a decision that they believe will help all of our students."

Jan. 16, 2013.


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