May 6, 2014

Our meeting today centered on course sequencing of classes for next year.  Below you will find more material highlighting these three classes.

Language and Literacy 1

Course Description:

The L and L 1 course is designed to take the place of English 9 and to meet the new standards required by the state of Michigan. How?

  • Two-semesters in length
  • Each unit explores themes found in literature and guides students through a cycle of instruction that helps them explore different genres.
  • Each unit requires students to learn and to practice how to write the different types of essays required in grade nine (persuasive; compare and contrast; argument, etc.)
  • Each unit involves engaging multimedia explorations and tasks.
  • Each unit requires students to make connections between Spanish and English by reading excerpts of different genres from both languages. Students will also be discussing themes found in both Spanish and English, discovering examples by reading in both languages.

Sample from resource list:

Lazarillo de Tormes
Huckleberry Finn

Ongoing collaboration between English nine mentor teacher and SI instructor
Real Language for Real World Situations

Course Description:

The pre-AP course is designed to be engaging and interactive, encouraging students to discuss, create, and use language in authentic situations.

Students will explore how the Spanish language is used within various social contexts and connect this learning with the themes discussed in the L and L1 course.

Sample Project:

After reading and discussing the cultural context and exploring the language used in Spanish social media entries, students will practice posting Facebook or blog entries themselves, using informal “teen” language to communicate ideas and new learning.


Course Descriptions:

The course content will be delivered in Spanish and meet the requirements of the History Department. Spanish language development will be intentionally integrated through content learning and connect with both the LL1 course and the pre-AP course.  These courses are one semester in length.

In this study of American Government, Citizenship, and law, students will examine the structure and function of government, the Constitution, the checks and balances system, federalism, the three branches of Government, political parties, public policy, and foreign policy. The primary focus of the course is federal government. Course content is aligned with the Michigan High School Content Expectations, the History section of the MME, and the Common Core Standards.


In this study of economics, an introduction to micro-economics, macro-economics, and personal finance will be given. Course content is aligned with the Michigan High School Content Expectations, the History section of the MME, and the Common Core Standards.


Important to understand:

 This three-course sequence is designed to make explicit connections between Spanish and English so that students increase speaking, reading, listening, and writing skills in both languages. A collaborative approach between immersion teachers and other department (English, History, and Spanish) ensures instruction reinforces learning and promotes student ability to think critically about issues within and across cultures.

 Taking three courses that integrate learning will…

  • Increase student awareness of 21st century issues based on a deeper knowledge of history and culture.
  • Allow students to analyze language in a way that helps them practice writing and refine important writing skills.  According to the standards outlined for ninth grade, it is important that students practice the different writing types within all different content areas (in Spanish or English).
  • Because students will learn HOW to write in the L and L1 course, they will be able to transfer that knowledge whether writing in Spanish or English.
  • Due to the nature of the content, students will explore authentic texts in English as well as Spanish. Example:  read the Declaration of Independence in English and compare elements to an authentic document from the target culture (Spanish-speaking).
  • Build academic vocabulary essential to doing well on college entrance exams
  • For example: Over 70% of academic vocabulary used within high school and college texts has Latin roots. Because Spanish is a Romance language (Latin-based), immersion students have the potential to increase their vocabulary based on their ever-increasing knowledge of Spanish.
  • Explore: A Spanish dual language immersion student knows the meaning of the Spanish word, mal (Latin root meaning “bad or evil”). When faced with new vocabulary words in English such as “malevolent, malicious, or malign,” they are able to infer the meaning of these English words based on their knowledge of the Spanish word mal.



Lindholm-Leary, Kathryn. (2005). Review of Research on Best Practice on Effective Features of Dual Language Education Programs. Guiding Principles for Dual Language Education.


Because of the vision and goals associated with bilingualism and biliteracy, language instruction is integrated within the curriculum (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, 1996; Cloud et al, 2000; Genesee, 1987; Short, 2002; Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, 1997). However, language objectives should be incorporated into the curriculum planning (Lyster, 1990, 1994, 1998) and language and literature should be developed across the curriculum (Doherty et al, 2003) to ensure that students learn the content as well as the academic language associated with the content. Further, since the vision and goals also include multicultural competence and equity, the curriculum needs to reflect and value the students’ culture(s) (Berman et al, 1995; Corallo & McDonald, 2002; Lucas et al, 1990; Montecel & Cortez, 2002; Reyes et al, 1999). Review

Guerrero and Sloan (2001) in looking at high-performing Spanish reading programs, noted that student performance was better when the Spanish (bilingual) and English (mainstream) reading programs were aligned with one set of literacy expectations for all students, regardless of the language of literacy instruction.


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