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San Rafael's 90 / 10 Model

90% / 10% Model

San Rafael follows the 90/10 Dual Language Immersion Program (DLIP) design. This model begins in Kindergarten with 90% of the academic instruction delivered in Spanish and 10% of the academic instruction delivered in English. This ratio is adjusted as students matriculate from grade to grade. For example:

Kindergarten = 90% Spanish, 10% English

First Grade = 80% Spanish, 20% English

Second Grade = 70% Spanish, 30% English

Third Grade = 60% Spanish, 40% English

Fourth Grade = 50% Spanish, 50% English

Fifth Grade = 50% Spanish, 50% English

San Rafael's Dual Language Immersion Program (DLIP) is grounded on academic research conducted by Dr. Kathyrn Lindholm-Leary, Dr. Virginia Collier, and Dr. Wayne Thomas. All three have conducted extensive longitudinal research on DLIP and are responsible for informing the field about the effectiveness of Dual Immersion and the development of both a partner language (i.e., Spanish) and English language proficiency.

The first two-way bilingual immersion (TWBI) programs in the U.S. began in the 1960’s and were based on well-researched French-English immersion models in Canada. Since the mid-1980’s, the number of TWBI programs in the United States has grown exponentially. With the upcoming Global California 2030, more growth will surely follow.

According to the California Department of Education, "The mission of Global California 2030 is to equip students with world language skills to better appreciate and more fully engage with the rich and diverse mixture of cultures, heritages, and languages found in California and the world, while also preparing them to succeed in the global economy." At San Rafael, we started this work in 2009. 

San Rafael’s Dual Language Immersion Program is based on sound theoretical and pedagogical foundations from research into successful dual immersion programs, target language acquisition, and maintenance. It incorporates the five goals of the National Foreign Language Standards (NFLS), promoting sound world language instruction. In meeting the goals of Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities, students will not only know what and how to say it, but why, when, and to whom. 

The vision of San Rafael’s Dual Language Immersion Program is for students to develop into bi-cognitive, reflective, cognitively flexible, and culturally sensitive citizens. Their exceptional multilingual proficiency and expanded worldview prepare them to engage in a dynamic, competitive global society equipped with the skills necessary to be successful in the 21st century. The mission of San Rafael’s Dual Language Immersion Program is to provide a caring, engaging, challenging educational experience for every student in an additive bilingual immersion setting.

Our expectation is for our students to develop a high level of thinking, listening, speaking, reading, and writing proficiency in English and Spanish (partner language). We push our students to strive for academic excellence in all subject areas, meeting or exceeding District and Common Core State Standards. One of the designed side-effects of our Dual Language Immersion Program is that our students develop positive attitudes and appreciation toward world languages and cultures.

The 90/10 model, because of its instructional structure (instructional minutes in each language at the respective grades), does present a struggle in the early years. Because students are receiving the bulk of their academic instruction in the partner language (Spanish), and their assessments are conducted in English, one can expect to see a slight dip in student performance. The beauty of DLIP is that all published research documents that students in a Dual Language Immersion Program eventually perform at the same level or higher levels than their monolingual classmates. These performance results are seen at a later stage (end of Second grade and beyond).

We sincerely hope that this synopsis provides you with at least a baseline understanding of the Dual Language Immersion Program at San Rafael Elementary School. Please know that there is a lot of research that can be used as a reference to validate the information which we have provided for you.