As English is primarily the mother tongue of many ISD students, we are dedicated to both the acquisition of the target language and English language, thus promoting bilingualism leading to multilingualism. Our immersion model has all students learning early literacy skills through the target language, and these skills then transfer to English literacy as the children move progressively through ISDenver’s rigorous, standards-based curricula that reflect both Colorado state standards and the curriculum of the target language country of origin.
Recognizing that each student has a different starting point, our English teachers assess individual learners based on a learning continuum. We differentiate through guided reading and writing, based on assessment data and feedback. We believe that learning is a process and assessment is ongoing, balanced, and flexible, so that all learners can demonstrate their understanding and continually grow. Our students learn how to read, write and speak two languages as they gain a broader global perspective and achieve higher levels of academic success. While time spent learning in English (10% in K1) increases year-over-over, the balance shifts in the Middle Years Programme (6th – 8th grade), when English becomes the primary language of instruction, while maintaining an unsurpassed 20% of time spent learning in and through a foreign language.
Language arts instruction is delivered through a framework for teaching reading and writing that allows students to build independence and stamina. During English lessons, teachers utilize a student-driven management structure designed to fully engage students in reading and writing. Daily habits of reading, writing and working with peers are developed. Guided reading, differentiated small group instruction, and conferencing with the teacher are all strategies used within this program. By working towards their goals, students can answer the question, “How I am doing?” but more importantly, “How can I improve?” ISDenver students understand and monitor their personal literacy goals, thus producing a sense of responsibility and leadership.
Maths and science instruction complement the learning in the target languages, with maths teachers utilizing the well-respected Singapore Maths program. Social studies include global contexts, as well as Colorado and American history. The arts are taught through the English medium for all grades.