Why Attend Horace Mann's Dual Language Program?
As parents investigate a dual language program, the question utmost in their minds is, "Why should I send my child to a dual language school?" The idea sounds intriguing--having a child able to speak both English and Spanish--but there are so many other questions parents want to know about whether a dual language program works.
First of all, does a dual language program work? Research has shown that people best learn a second language when they are young. Language development starts when a child is born into the home environment. As children hear language around them (talking, reading, stories, and interactions), the language components of their brains start developing language patterns and understandings that will later be used as building blocks for school learning.
Once students enter school, the reading fluency and reading comprehension that they start learning with vocabulary development in kindergarten continues through their entire school years and into their adult years. Horace Mann's students who learn both English and Spanish side by side starting in kindergarten are able to easily switch back and forth from language to language because is an integral part of their daily classroom life.
Horace Mann’s 50/50 English/Spanish model meets our students’ needs as they are taught reading, math, science, and social studies in both English and Spanish. Students coming in with either English or Spanish as their native language and immediately start learning a second language while continuing to develop their native home language. Students naturally want to learn and readily absorb the dual language instruction.
As students continue through their elementary years at Horace Mann, they use the vocabulary and reading fluency they learned in the K-2 grades (learning to read) to meet the skills they are required to be successful on the state reading and math assessments (reading to learn). Students start using their Spanish more and more as they get into the upper grade classes for speaking as well as reading and writing causing them to be bilingual and biliterate.
Horace Mann’s middle school allows students to stay connected to learning as they enter their adolescent years. They have already established a connection with the school as elementary students and build on those partnerships to make a meaningful middle school education. Rather than starting a new middle school in these important formative years as they search for independence, Horace Mann students become student leaders as they become school proctors, mentors, classroom helpers, and tutors in leadership positions.
The Horace Mann Dual Language program is built on the following attributes:
- Academic Achievement
- Positive Interdependence
- Cultural Competence
- Positive Attitudes Toward School
- Building Leadership Qualities
- Becoming Risk Takers
- Developing Positive Self Esteem
Horace Mann’s K-8 program is connected from start to finish and provides learning expectations and leadership opportunities along the way. The best way to see what Horace Mann is all about is to visit the classrooms to see the close, caring community that students, teachers, and parents work together to create. We would invite you to drop by to visit our school and see why,
"It's a smaller world when you are bilingual!"