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
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.