Santa Fe Elementary School
Partial Spanish Immersion Program
On May 27, 2008, the Peoria Unified School District Governing Board approved the Partial Spanish Immersion program at Santa Fe Elementary.
This is a unique and exciting opportunity for proficient English speakers to learn a second language. The program is available to Peoria Unified School District students; as well as, students that do not live within the district boundaries. The program is designed so that students will receive instruction in English for half the day and in Spanish for half the day.
If you are interested in this innovative opportunity, please contact us at (623) 486-6475. Please keep in mind, we will have a limited number of spots available.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why should I consider a Language Immersion Program?
A: Research has shown immersion to be the most effective way to learn language. For over twenty years, research in Canada and the United States has documented the impressive development of second language fluency and academic achievement of children in an immersion program. At the same time, immersion students have maintained and enriched their native language and literacy skills. Studies have also shown that bilingual students perform better than monolingual students on tasks that call for divergent thinking, pattern recognition and problem solving.
Q: How do students perform academically compared to peers who are not in a Language Immersion Program?
A: Research has consistently shown that beyond the second year of language learning, students will perform as well as or better than their non-language learning peers.
Q: Will I be able to help my child with homework if I don’t speak the language?
A: Many homework assignments come home in both languages. Teachers communicate regularly and are available for questions. Parents are asked to continue reinforcing English language development skills at home by reading and discussing books with their child.
Q: How quickly will my child begin speaking Spanish?
A: There may be an initial adjustment or “silent” period as children begin listening to the new language. A combination of activities including singing and games help children feel comfortable and competent in the program. Children typically start to demonstrate the beginning signs of speaking by the second grade.

Resources for more information about Language Immersion Programs: 

What Parents Want to Know about Foriegn Language Immersion Programs

This is an overview of foriegn language immersion programs, how they are structured, and what they have to offer.


Scientific American: The Neural Advantages of Speaking 2 Languages
A new study published in Psychological Science reveals that knowledge of a second language-even one learned in adolescence-affects how people read in their native tongue. The findings suggest that after learning a second language, people never look at words the same way again. 


Article from Education Week on Foreign Languages in Glastonbury, CT
"Foreign-Languages Acquisition a Vital Part of District's Mission"  The Glastonbury, Conn., public school district, encompassing a small farming community, has quietly become a foreign-language powerhouse, with half of all graduates having studied two foreign languages, and 40% having been exposed to three. Glastonbury's reputation makes it a draw for foreign-language teachers, this article says, which means the district doesn't have to grapple with the challenges of finding and retaining qualified teachers.


Characteristics of Effective Elementary School Foreign Language Programs
Learn from the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) what it takes to have a successful program 

Research in Support of Early Language Programs
If, like us, you are research-driven, this is the site for you. An annotated bibliography to studies supporting immersion and other early language programs. Studies compare academic achievement of students (all ages) that have studied or been exposed to a foreign language to those who have not.