Overview of Dual Language Immersion in Union County Public Schools
Union County Public Schools has language immersion programs in 22 schools and two languages, in grades kindergarten through 9th grade. Students enter the programs through a lottery conducted during the kindergarten registration process. Preferences for the lottery are based on the student's home address and home school assignment. Students who have older siblings in a language immersion program are guaranteed a seat in the immersion program at the same school. For additional information about the Dual Language Immersion (DLI) Kindergarten lottery, please review admission guidelines.
Schools with One-Way Mandarin Immersion Programs (all core content is taught in Mandarin; English is introduced in kindergarten)
English speakers focus on learning a partner language as the sole language of instruction for math, science, social studies and language arts in the ‘partner language’ (the new language). Students focus on math, science, social studies and language arts in Mandarin. English is introduced from the start of kindergarten.
Schools with One-Way Spanish Immersion Programs (all core content is taught in Spanish; English is introduced in 2nd grade)
English speakers focus on learning a partner language as the sole language of instruction for math, science, social studies and language arts in the ‘partner language’ (the new language). Students focus on Spanish until second grade, when English is introduced.
- Antioch Elementary
- Kensington Elementary (starting with the kindergarten class entering in the 2022-2023 school year)
- New Town Elementary (starting with the kindergarten class entering in the 2022-2023 school year)
- Poplin Elementary
- Shiloh Valley Primary
- Shiloh Valley Elementary
- Unionville Elementary
- Weddington Elementary
- Western Union Elementary
Schools with Two-Way Spanish Immersion Programs (core content is split between Spanish and English; English is introduced in K, 1st, or 2nd grade)
English speakers and Spanish speakers become bilingual, biliterate and bicultural by learning Spanish and English together. Once English is introduced, the model shifts and students spend 50% of their day learning in English and 50% of their day learning in Spanish. Language arts are taught in Spanish and English, while math, science and social studies alternate between being taught in Spanish or English each year as students progress through elementary school.
- East Elementary (English introduced in 1st grade)
- Marshville Elementary (English introduced in K)
- Porter Ridge Elementary (English introduced in 2nd grade)
- Walter Bickett Elementary (English introduced in 1st grade)
- Wingate Elementary (English introduced in K)
Middle schools with Immersion Continuation Programs (immersion offered as a year-long elective)
Students will take a yearlong elective course in sixth, seventh and eighth grade to bridge the content-based instructional focus in elementary school with the language-based curriculum in high school. The curriculum will include a blend of global perspectives and cultural content while also focusing on grammatical and lexical accuracy. Students will continue to read, write, speak, and listen in the target language to maintain and increase their proficiency. The curriculum uses the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as a focus. Students will have the opportunity to earn one high school credit upon successful completion of both the 6th and 7th-grade DLI courses as well as one high school credit for successful completion of the eighth-grade DLI course. These courses will be available to students who were enrolled in Dual Language Immersion in elementary school as well as heritage speakers with literacy skills in their native language, pending availability.
- Marvin Ridge Middle (Mandarin)
- Parkwood Middle (Spanish)
- Piedmont Middle (Spanish)
- Porter Ridge Middle (Spanish)
- Sun Valley Middle (Spanish)
- Weddington Middle (Spanish)
High schools with DLI students continuing into World Language
Once immersion students enter high school, they enter the traditional sequence of world language courses. A placement exam is given at the end of 8th grade to determine if students will enter Honors Level III or Honors Level IV. After level IV, students progress to Advanced Placement courses or International Baccalaureate courses where available.
DLI Model Information in UCPS
UCPS partners with Participate Learning to provide support for Dual Language/Immersion. Participate Learning partners with schools and districts to provide dual-language curriculum resources, teacher training, overseas hiring and support services. For 30 years, educators have used Participate Learning’s professional development and curriculum, language acquisition and cultural exchange teacher programs to create engaging learning environments that empower teachers and inspire students to create an impact on a global scale. Participate Learning is headquartered in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.