The Dancing Moose Spanish Immersion Program

Spanish-Immersion-Program-2Children have flourished in their Spanish Immersion classroom that was initiated in the fall of 2011, and our upcoming academic year will continue full time Spanish Immersion as part of a Dual Language English and Spanish classroom.  Two teachers will alternate teaching core curriculum in English and Spanish, providing the perfect opportunity for children to excel in both languages as they learn from a teacher whose first language is English and a second teacher whose first language is Spanish.  Ample research indicates that cognitive advantages occur beyond language acquisition to excelling in critical and creative thinking skills across multiple subject areas.

English and Spanish Academic Goals

Spanish-Immersion-Program-3The majority of children in the Kindergarten Dual language classroom speak English as a first language.  The primary academic goal will be to support Kindergarten core objectives in English and supplement activities in Spanish on a daily basis.  Children will work on class activities in both Spanish and English; one teacher will speak in English and the other will speak primarily Spanish in the classroom; language arts and mathematics instructional materials will be available in both English and Spanish. 

Spanish-Immersion-Program-4Academic Research Supports the Dual Language Classroom

Dancing Moose is not introducing a new concept with its Dual Language English/ Spanish classroom, but it is certainly taking advantage of the momentum of quality programs around the country that are capitalizing on children’s enhanced creativity and analytical thinking in a Dual Language program.  Virginia P. Collier and Wayne P. Thomas, noted researchers in Dual Language programs, have documented that children exposed to a second language learn at a more rapid rate.  Bilingual researcher Ellen Bialystok of York University in Toronto stated that “several studies have linked bilingualism to improved working memory, which is associated with reading and math skills.” 

Spanish-Immersion-Program-1

In research conducted at Nanjing University in China, bilingual seven-year-old children outperformed their monolingual peers on two working memory tests—one requiring them to recall and rearrange a series of numbers and the other to retrace a pattern of hops made my an animated frog on a computer screen.  Researchers say that the best way to become proficient in a second language is to start young and practice often (Scientific American Mind, July/August, 2011).

Kindergarten is an ideal time for children to begin to experience the advantages of Dual Language instruction, and we look forward to launching our new Dual Language Classroom at Dancing Moose this fall.

What Our Parents Say

  • Jamie & Ken B:  Too many great things to narrow it down to just a few lines! But we'll try!  We love that all the teachers and administrators are always smiling and positive - it sets the stage for a great learning environment for our child and let's us know that they truly care about all the children.

  • Keith W:  Moving here from the east coast, we were concerned about finding the proper level of education for our daughter. Dancing Moose was just opening and when we did our tour, Dr. Joyce impressed me with her professionalism,enthusiasm, and academic prowess. We started our daughter in the toddler class and never looked back. Now, four years later we have both our children in Dancing Moose and could not be more pleased. Not only is the education second to none, and I would apply that not to only utah, but the entire country, the family atmosphere is phenomenal. I would recommend Dancing Moose to all toddler to 2nd grade children.  I can not understand why anybody would go anywhere else.

  • Alexis J:  Aislynn loves going to school at Dancing Moose, she's excited every day to tell me or any other adult near her what she did in school that day.  I love the flexibility the teachers are allowed, how every student gets to work at their own pace and none of them seem overwhelmed or bored.

  • Cherie M:  I commute everyday to the Dancing Moose, usually about 20 minutes each way from my Holladay home. Though commuting is not my favorite activity, I have found it is worth every second of my time. My son, Liam Emsley, is so happy when I pick him up and drop him off, sometimes I have to convince him it is time to leave school and go home! The state of the art facility is top notch, the teachers are warm and friendly, the school lunch/snack program is the best I found when I was researching school options. Needless to say, I am a big fan of the Dancing Moose!

  • Michelle M:  Our family loves the Dancing Moose Montessori for so many reasons.  The most important reason, is that our son absolutely loves his teachers and the other staff. We love the diversity and acceptance of students and staff and we also love that the Moose is community oriented and working on a "green" future. 

  • Shannon C:  Transplants to UT from OR.  This is our second year at DMM.  We feel safe, comfortable, love coming to school everyday to learn from a FANTASTIC curriculum,  really enjoy the flavors from Chef Renee, organic gardening and most of all the consistent unconditional love from each teacher with our little ones!  Thank you Dancing Moose for providing my children a great early childhood educational experience!

  • Christian M:  Dancing Moose distinguishes itself in the quality of academic education the school provides to young children, and also in the environment it creates for learning to occur.  Perhaps most-importantly, our son loves it!

  • Chris P:  Some of the things I like best about Dancing Moose have nothing to do with what goes on in the classroom.  I like that the place is wind powered, has a community garden and has a chef making food from scratch every day.  These are manifestations of values which I hold dear.  I am happy that Dancing Moose shares these values.

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