Apply for Dual Language

Most students begin the Spanish Dual Language Program in Kindergarten. Applications for the program are available in mid-January before a student begins Kindergarten. If you would like to join the waiting list for another grade, please contact the school.

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Why Dual Language?

  • Language learning at a young age increases cognitive development, allowing deeper levels of learning.
  • Young children have the ability to gain language faster and with near native like language skills.
  • Language skills open the door to other countries, cultures and people.
  • Knowing two languages allows for greater success in university language classes and employment opportunities.

In the Bellevue School District, the Dual Language Program is a two-way immersion program.  Students from various language backgrounds learn together, with instruction delivered in two languages. In the early grades, instruction is 90% in Spanish. By third grade, the day is divided 50-50, Spanish/English. Students should plan to enroll for the full six years of elementary Dual Language instruction in order to receive the greatest benefit.

Students of both language backgrounds benefit immensely from participating in a Dual Language Program.  Students learn to read, write and speak proficiently in two languages, with near native skill by the time they complete fifth grade.  They also develop an appreciation for and an understanding of diverse cultures.

Kindergartners in the Dual Language classrooms learn the same curriculum that all other kindergarten classes in the district learn, except it’s in Spanish. Students hear language and learn to break words into syllables and to sounds. By the time they leave kindergarten, they should be able to write complete sentences with a capital at the beginning and a period at the end.  They should be able to label their picture to show meaning.  English speakers may be able to have a basic conversation in Spanish.

English speakers and native speakers of the partner language are integrated for instruction so that both groups of students serve in the role of language model and language learner at different times.

Research has shown that students in Dual Language Program tend to do better on standardized tests in reading and math.  Additionally, they are able to read and write at grade level in a second language.    Research has also found that dual language education is a very successful model for helping English language learners succeed academically in school.  They have a positive attitude about their own ability as learners.

Students read, write, listen and speak in both languages, becoming bilingual, bi-literate and bi-cultural. We firmly believe that language is a valuable resource and a skill needed to contribute and compete globally in our developing world.

The Bellevue School District acknowledges that we learn, work, live and gather on the Indigenous Land of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Duwamish and Snoqualmie Tribes. We thank these caretakers of this land, who have lived and continue to live here, since time immemorial.