World Language Immersion Program

  •  World Language Immersion Program
    Downes Elementary School offers language immersion in Mandarin Chinese for Kindergarten through 5th grade students as part of a statewide World Language Immersion Program.  The program was implemented at Downes Elementary in the 2013-2014 school year.
    This is an elementary immersion program, where students learn academic content through a second language. They learn the second language by encountering and using the language in multiple meaningful contexts. For example, students will have reading instruction in English, but may have instruction in math and other subjects in Mandarin Chinese. Students will spend half of the school day immersed in English instruction, and half of the day in Chinese. Classes will have two teachers, one for each language, and will coexist with traditional instruction. Students will be able to continue their immersion experience through elementary school and into middle school. 
    The World Language Immersion Program began as an initiative by former Delaware Governor Jack Markell in 2012, who invested $1.9 million in the program with the goal of reaching nearly 8,000 students in K-8 immersion programs by 2020. Children must be five years old on or before August 31 of the school year for which they are entering to be eligible to attend Kindergarten. 
    The Chinese Immersion Program at Downes Elementary School serves families currently residing in the Downes Elementary attendance zone, as well as those who live in other Christina elementary school attendance zones, or who reside in other school districts, through the Choice option. 
    For more information, please contact Downes Elementary School at 302-454-2133.
    For information about Kindergarten Choice, please call the Christina Education Options Office at 302-552-2618.