My Spanish Immersion Experience

Some of us senior year with our Spanish Teacher

Some of us senior year with our Spanish Teacher

Many people wonder how as a non native spanish speaker I am able to become a bilingual educator. The answer to that question is my spanish immersion experience. I was put into a lottery before first grade, for the first spanish immersion program in San Antonio, at the Alamo Heights school district. Twenty four students and I were going to be guinea pigs in this new program. I was taught in all subject areas in Spanish in first grade through fifth grade (starting in second grade we had a Language Arts time in English). By the end of fifth grade, I was almost fluent in Spanish. It was so wonderful to be immersed in this program, speaking in Spanish everyday. In sixth grade, we had Science and Social Studies in Spanish, which at times was very difficult. In eighth grade we started only having one class period, dedicated for Spanish, working on grammar and writing; this continued through high school. Our senior year in high school we were able to back to our elementary schools and mentor the Spanish Immersion classes there. This was something to fun and exciting to see these students go through the same thing I did. It was so rewarding to graduate from high school as the first Spanish Immersion class.  The University of Minnesota did a study about our class and concluded that, “The data in this study clearly indicate that the Spanish Immersion program, as implemented at at Cambridge and Woodridge elementary schools in AHISD, is successful as defined by the constructs of this study,” (University of Minnesota). Most of the people in Spanish Immersion are still some of my best friends today, we call each other “The Immersion Fam.”

By: Katherine Mantz



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