In 2016, Garden Grove Unified School District (GGUSD) opened the doors to its first dual language immersion school, Monroe Elementary Language Academy. The Spanish dual immersion program now offered at Monroe Elementary has seen tremendous results, with Garden Grove Unified even receiving special recognition from the City of Garden Grove of the program. Just last week, the Orange County Department of Education awarded GGUSD with the 2018 Advocacy Leadership award for the district’s outstanding cultural and linguistic responsiveness to English learners and emerging bilingual students. Spanish isn’t the only language with strong ties in the Garden Grove community however. To serve the needs of the community, Garden Grove Unified introduced a Vietnamese dual language program at Murdy Elementary in 2017 and is set to open its second Spanish dual immersion program at Russell Elementary in 2018-2019.
The reasons for opening these dual immersion schools go past the educational benefits of having a bilingual brain. Many students come from bilingual homes, where they often understand the language being spoken at home, but do not have the ability to speak, read, or write that language. With these dual immersion programs, students who come from Spanish speaking or Vietnamese speaking homes will eventually be able to think, read, write, and communicate naturally in two languages, setting them up for success at home, in school, and in the expanding global job market.
By the end of the 2016-2017 school year, the principal at Monroe presented a pathway to biliteracy award to more than 170 students after their first year in the Spanish dual immersion program. Triumph did not come to these students immediately, though. Dual immersion students go through a silent period at the beginning of their dual language instruction, where students are hesitant to use their new language. Because of the quality of staff and support of parents, the students in both the Spanish and Vietnamese programs are quickly learning to communicate. Because of the success and popularity of the program, an additional three kindergarten and one additional TK class will be added next school year at Monroe Elementary.
The popularity of these programs have so much to do with the sense of community that people are yearning for. Many parents want their students to be bilingual so they are able to communicate with everyone around them, regardless of the different backgrounds they may come from. GGUSD students who become bilingual will not only have a competitive edge in today’s global job market, they will have a greater sense of unity with their community and the diverse cultures of their neighbors.
Company Name: Garden Grove Unified School District
Contact Person: Abby Milone
Email: Send Email
Phone: (714) 663-6000
Address:10331 Stanford Ave.
City: Garden Grove
State: CA 92840
Country: United States