The Manheim Township Spanish Immersion Program is a district program housed at the Nitrauer Elementary School grades 1 through 4 that began in 1994-1995. Students from each of our six elementary schools attend this voluntary program. In our program, students are immersed in Spanish while they learn the same Manheim Township curriculum based on the Pennsylvania Standards. Students learn Reading, Writing, Spelling, Mathematics, Science, Health, and Social Studies in Spanish. In grades 1 and 2, students are instructed totally in Spanish. In grades 3, 4, the children receive 45 -60 minutes of instruction in English Reading, Writing, and Spelling. In grades 1-4, Art, Physical Education, Music, and Library Instruction are in English.
The Spanish Immersion program continues in grades 5 & 6 at the Landis Run Intermediate School. At this level, Spanish is incorporated into homeroom, literacy (reading and writing activities), and intervention/enrichment. In grade 5, Spanish is also incorporated during social studies.
In grades 7 and 8, students have one period of Spanish daily at the Middle School that focuses on academic language preparation, with speaking , listening, writing, and reading at a high level of proficiency (ACTFL).
In grades 9-12, Spanish may be scheduled as an elective for all immersion students. Spanish Immersion students who continue taking Spanish courses through the highest level offered at the high school (AP or IB) will receive a red cord to wear at graduation.*Beginning in 2020-2021, the program will be housed at Reidenbaugh Elementary.
Parental Commitment Form
Spanish Immersion Report
The first Spanish Immersion students graduated from high school in 2007. This study looks at what impact the Spanish Immersion Program has had on the students and the district.
Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition
The Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition has many useful links on immersion education. There are online resources for teachers and parents of immersion students. There is also a link to a listserv dealing with immersion education. This organization publishes the ACIE Newsletter three times a year that has many useful articles dealing with curriculum and instruction in immersion education.
Center for Applied Linguistics
The Center for Applied Linguistics has a database of immersion schools as well as some articles of interest to immersion parents and teachers.
For more information, please contact Dr. Katelyn Barlet, ESL/World Languages/Spanish Immersion Supervisor (717-735-1526).
Spanish Immersion Guidelines
- Children must meet Manheim Township SD readiness criteria to enter the Spanish Immersion lottery. Children must meet Manheim Township SD age requirements for first grade. (School Board Policy # 201: Admission of Students).
- NOTE: Parents of students NOT enrolled in a MTSD kindergarten class must make arrangements for their children to be assessed by district personnel. The assessments must be completed during the designated testing window.
- Parents must complete the registration online during the registration window.
- Each child may be entered once in the MTSD Immersion lottery.
- We strongly encourage all interested parents to attend the program information session and visit an Immersion class during the visitation window outlined on the timeline.
* Please refer to the 2019-2020 Spanish Immersion Timeline for specific dates for this school year.
Ways to Enrich Spanish Skills
- Designate a time for daily family reading and/or silent reading. Encourage your child to read something in Spanish as well as English.
- Invest in books that are written in Spanish (many are available with audio tapes or CD’s).
- Check out books and tapes at your local public library.
- For first grade, invest in a Spanish picture dictionary for your child. For second grade and up, invest in a good Spanish/English dictionary. Spanish/Spanish dictionaries are helpful at the intermediate grades and beyond.
- Read and discuss news articles that relate to Spanish-Speaking countries.
- Ask an older immersion student to read to your child in Spanish after school, or help your child with homework, mentor or baby sit younger children in Spanish.
- Ask your child to use Spanish writing skills to write to the Embassies or Offices of Tourism of Spanish speaking countries to plan an actual or pretend family vacation.
- Have your child correspond with a pen-pal throughout the summer or school year.
- Review the songs and poems that your child sings or recites at school. Your child can sing or recite the song or poem by memory or you can ask your child to teach you the song or poem.
- Routinely ask your child questions about what they learned in Spanish at school.
- If you travel to a Spanish-speaking country, let your child be the official translator.
- Check the local newspaper and other publications such as WITF Magazine, the Lancaster County Magazine, and La Voz Hispana for Latin American concerts, performances, and other cultural events.
- Have a classmate over for a “Spanish Evening” or “Spanish Night Over”. Visit a local Hispanic restaurant or market.
- Purchase children’s dvds and music in Spanish.
- Acquire Spanish programs for your computer.
- Watch the children’s programs on the Spanish Cable Channel.
- Change the language option on your television to watch Aurthur and other PBS shows in Spanish.
- If your child has an older sibling who speaks Spanish, allow them to choose a time of day that they will only use Spanish to communicate.
- Have a Spanish cooking night. Pick a Spanish-speaking country, find a traditional recipe, and cook with your child. Ask him/her to name the ingredients in Spanish.
- Praise any efforts your child makes to speak Spanish.
- Discuss with your child the benefits of learning another language. (See Immersion FAQ page.)
- Ask your child why s/he thinks it is important to know additional languages.
- Discuss how a person becomes a proficient speaker of any language. (i.e. practice, making mistakes, listening to others use the language, talking, talking, talking!).