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Language Immersion

La Scuola is one of the few language immersion schools in the Bay Area. Your child does not need to speak Italian to enroll in our Italian language immersion program.

At La Scuola children learn to speak an additional language in a nurturing and fun environment, often unaware of their multilingual superpowers! In Grades PreK - 3 the primary language spoken in the classroom is Italian, and from Grade 4 through to Grade 8 students choose between Italian or Spanish as their second language, on either a beginner/intermediate or an advanced track. 

Early exposure to additional languages enables more neural connections to form in a child’s brain, actually improving skills in their first language. Our students are bilingual (many are trilingual) and as a result, have better control over their attention, decision making, and planning than students who learn in one language. Bilingualism is well known to be a strong predictor of academic success and lifelong happiness and Italian especially benefits students with an understanding of Latin roots and an increased ability to appreciate art, music, history, and science.

Statistically, children who study a second language score higher on verbal standardized tests conducted in English, perform better in math and logic skills testing, and are better at solving complex problems. At La Scuola, our language immersion begins with Italian, and we have expanded our offerings to include Spanish starting in Grade 4.  Teachers differentiate language instruction according to student ability.

Many of our graduates have continued their language studies in high school, in some cases taking on the study of yet another language.

Montreal Model of Language Immersion

Based on evidence-based immersion models, here are the percentages of how languages are used through the grades.

  • Preschool:     approximately 10% English – 90% Italian
  • Grades K-1:   approximately 20% English – 80% Italian
  • Grade 2:        approximately 30% English – 70% Italian

  • Grades 3-5:   approximately 50% English – 50% Italian
  • Grades 6-8:   approximately 70% English – 30% Italian

*Specialist subjects may be taught in English or Italian.

Learn more about the benefits of being bilingual from one of our students, below!

The Hundred Languages of Children

As we see from the Reggio Emilia Approach, children inherently have many languages they can communicate through and express themselves with. With language immersion and practicing a second language, we help children discover this natural multi-lingualism they have within themselves.

La Scuola Daily Rituals - Alive with Italian Culture!

At La Scuola, we embrace the Italian culture with daily rituals like our family-style hot lunch and students participating in the string ensembles (orchestra pizzicato). We celebrate Italian holidays such as Carnevale, Dante Day. Our Italian DNA pervades our daily interactions: we always make time for a little more music, a little more art, a hug, and to appreciate the beauty of life and time spent together.

Additional Resources:  Language Immersion Research

Read more about the benefits of Bilingualism on the Growing Up Bilingual website.