Dual immersion language program could be coming to Columbia

Jun 10, 2014

Columbia educators are considering plans for a dual-immersion language program.

Credit File Photo / KBIA

The program incorporates both English and Spanish as a mode of communication and incoming Columbia Schools Superintendent Peter Stiepleman says it would be a good next step for some Columbia Public Schools. If approved, the dual-immersion program would create one class per grade of combined English and Spanish-native speakers who would learn a certain percentage of their studies in Spanish and the rest in English. The classes would begin in Kindergarten and continue through middle school.

Lisa Dorner is an assistant professor in the Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis department at MU. She says that the program has seen success elsewhere and would be a way to help Columbia public school education advance. Dorner has previously studied dual-immersion programs in St. Louis. After witnessing their success, she says she is interested in seeing that opportunity for students in Columbia as well. 

If adopted, the program could begin in Columbia Public Schools as early as 2015. The Board of Education has asked to hear more on the subject in the fall.