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 Tour Highlights Dual-Language Programs

Educators and community leaders had a chance to see two highly successful multi-lingual programs Feb. 12 as part of the San Diego County Office of Education’s Red Carpet Tour of Dual-Language Programs.

About 20 people from all over the county participated in the tour, visiting classrooms at Nestor Language Academy Charter School in southern San Diego and Riverview Elementary in Lakeside.

“What an amazing day! We were so impressed and inspired by the schools that we visited today,” said Kassi Grunder, assistant regional director for the Anti-Defamation League San Diego. “It was heartening to see students so excited and engaged, not to mention so well prepared for global citizenship.”

Participants learned about the successes of these programs and experienced dual-language instruction in action. They started off by getting on a big yellow school bus for the visits.

At Nestor Language Academy, they were greeted by kindergarteners singing in both English and Spanish. At Riverview Elementary, students planned the classroom visits and escorted participants around the campus. On the way to the schools, Dr. Randy Ward, county superintendent of schools, discussed the importance of knowing multiple languages in an increasingly connected world.

San Diego County opened its first dual-language program in the 1970s and has been at the forefront of the dual language movement ever since.

Research shows that students who know more than one language are better prepared for the global community and the job market. Dual-immersion students perform as well as or better than non-immersion students on standardized tests in English, and immersion students typically develop greater cognitive flexibility, demonstrating increased attention control, better memory, and superior problem‐solving skills as well as an enhanced understanding of their primary language.