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 Second Annual Dual Language Red Carpet Tour Brings Visitors to San Diegos Renowned Language Academy

​Dual Language Programs throughout the country are becoming more and more popular as the ability to speak multiple languages becomes more desirable to employers and students realize the benefits of being multi-lingual.

The Red Carpet Tour of Dual Language Programs was created by the County Office of Education’s English Learner Support Services team to promote the value of multiple language fluency, and the second annual Tour of two K-8 Dual Language Immersion Programs was held recently at the Language Academy in San Diego Unified.

Several San Diego County school district superintendents, San Diego County Board of Education Board members, and business leaders attended the Red Carpet Tour and were amazed at the students’ fluency in both Spanish and French.

“The great thing about our program is that parents do not have to be fluent in the target language their students are learning,” said Veronika Lopez-Mendez, Principal of the Language Academy. “Another plus is that the majority of our teachers bring part of their culture with them into the classroom. We have a large variety of teachers from all over the world, who come here to teach their native language. So not only do our students learn the language, they also learn the culture.”

According to Lopez-Mendez, the Language Academy is one of the most unique Dual Language Programs in the country, offering students the opportunity to become bilingual in French, Spanish and English at no cost. San Diego County Superintendent Randy Ward and the Red Carpet participants toured both Spanish-only and French-only classrooms.

“Students who are bilingual have an academic advantage,” said Ward. “Building upon a child’s language skills produces confidence and prepares children for global workplace readiness. It opens the doors for endless career opportunities.”

Nenette Adelson-Rodriguez, Director of English Learner and Support Services at the County Office of Education, works directly with Dual Language Programs. “We currently have Dual Language programs throughout the county. There are immersion programs in Spanish, French, German and Chinese.”

According to Adelson-Rodriguez, parents’ interest in Dual Language programs has grown tremendously. Parents are known to sleep-over in front of schools in order to enroll their children, she said. “I’ve known of parents to drive 20 miles each way just to get their children to school. High academic achievement in two languages is very important to them.”

At the Language Academy students learn all of the core subjects in the target language, and according to Lopez-Mendez maintain the same proficiency levels in all subjects in comparison to students in traditional schools. After completing the eighth grade most students enroll at San Diego High School into the International Baccalaureate Studies program to continue their education in the target language.