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State Standards 

Frequently Asked Questions

Dual Immersion Enrollment for Students in Grades 1st - 5th

Entrance into Dual Immersion after Kindergarten is done on a case by case basis and as space permits. Students who seek entrance in 1st grade are evaluated academically and linguistically. Students who seek entrance in 2nd - 5th grade must be able to speak, read and write Spanish as the required level.

Do parents need to be proficient in Spanish to send a child to Mark Twain?
No.  Parents do not need to have proficiency in the Spanish language.  School bulletins and homework instructions are sent home in both languages. We also have opportunities for parents to pick up some Spanish too. About half our families are monolingual English speakers – so you will not be alone if you do not speak Spanish in your home.

How can I help with homework if I don’t know Spanish?
Parents can support students at home by making sure that they have the right environment and tools to get homework done (e.g., a quiet space and enough time, paper, dictionaries in both languages, writing utensils, and art supplies such as construction paper, paste, tape, and colored makers). Parents can also ask questions about the homework in the language spoken at home, thus giving the students opportunities to explain the assignment in their first language. Homework is generally reading or math practice or extra time to work on a project begun in the classroom. Children generally have homework buddies that they can call if they need clarification

How do I know if my child is a good fit for an immersion program?
Research has shown that students from a variety of different backgrounds can be successful in dual immersion programs. Students from different ethnic, socioeconomic, and language backgrounds, and with varying academic strengths and needs, have all benefited from dual language education. If your child has special learning needs that make you wonder if this might be an appropriate placement, we’d be happy to talk with you and explore the issues in more depth.

What is the possibility of acceptance? 
Mark Twain is a popular school among residents in Lawndale and each year we have a waiting list. Mark Twain's overall goal is to enroll approximately equal numbers of children with Spanish language background and children with English language background because that’s the way that dual language programs work best.  For more information see the enrollment page on our website.

How long does it take to learn a new language?

Normally it takes 4-7 years to learn a new language. Each student is different. For this reason, we hope that students stay in the immersion program from Kinder through 8th grade.

Can I remove my child from the program after a couple of years?

We recommend that students stay in the program from Kinder through 8th grade so that they reach high levels of Spanish and English.

How much time is spent teaching in Spanish and how much time is spent teaching in English?

The program begins with the majority of the day in Spanish. Each year the students receive more of the core curriculum in English until they reach 50% Spanish and 50% English.

Spanish/English

Kinder: 90% / 10%

1st grade: 80% / 20%

2nd grade: 70% / 30%

3rd grade: 60 % / 40%

4th grade: 50% / 50%

5th grade: 50% / 50%

6th grade: 50% / 50%

7th grade: 50% / 50%

8th grade: 50% / 50%

Do the teachers have specific preparation to teach in an immersion program?

Each teacher in the program has a credential from the state of California to teach in Spanish. Additionally, each teacher has been prepared to teach students who are learning an additional language.

Are there meetings for parents?

Yes. During the school year there are meetings specifically for families with students in the immersion program. The topics and times vary.

If I have questions, is there someone at the school with whom I can speak?

Yes! You can call the main office with general questions at (310) 675-9134. Also, you can contact Sra. Jones, the English Learner Instructional Resource Teacher