What is Language Immersion?

  • North Carolina has been a leader in dual language/immersion (DL/I) for over 30 years. The first Spanish DL/I program began in the fall of 1990, and we now have over 225 DL/I programs in eight different languages: Cherokee, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Japanese, Spanish, and Urdu.

    The 2021 Canvass of DL/I Programs in US Public Schools showed that North Carolina is #5 in the nation and leading the Southeast in the number of DL/I programs.  As a state, we are also very linguistically diverse, with at least 339 languages other than English being used in North Carolina students’ homes according to the latest Language Diversity in North Carolina report

    In dual language immersion programs, students are immersed in another language through the study of core academic content (language arts, math, science, and social studies). Language immersion programs are an exciting option for parents who want their children to have the advantages of a rigorous academic program while also learning two languages – English and a target language. The target language of the Person County School's Dual Language program is Spanish. In our language immersion program, Spanish is not taught as a subject; Spanish is the language in which instruction is delivered.

    DL Goals

    Language immersion programs offer families a unique opportunity for their child to learn the same content as any other North Carolina public school student, while becoming fluent and literate in a second language. Students in language immersion programs also experience increased global awareness and cognitive benefits, such as increased student engagement, higher capacity for critical thinking, and accelerated academic performance.  Students that remain in language immersion programs throughout their academic careers typically experience expanded career opportunities and may even gain fluency in a third language (or more!) 


  • Along with learning another language, your child will receive a complete academic foundation grounded in instructional excellence.

    • All Spanish Immersion students will be taught the same North Carolina state standards as other public school students.
    • The curriculum will prepare students to achieve and to perform well on state assessments, which are administered in English only.
    • Being immersed in a non-native language at an early age helps children to progress in their native language at a faster rate when instruction begins than students who have only been instructed in their native language. 

    Instruction in Person County Dual Language classrooms is guided by the North Carolina Standard Course of Study for all core content, and by the North Carolina World Language Standards for Spanish Language Arts. The chart below shows when and how English instruction begins. 

    DL Chart

    *Please note in grades 3-5, select content-specific vocabulary in math, science, and social studies will be taught in both Spanish and English, to best prepare our students for testing in English.

Give Your Child a Global Competitive Edge Through the Benefits of an Immersion Program

    • Bilingual and biliterate: Students achieve high proficiency in the immersion language.
    • Increased cultural sensitivity: Immersion students are more aware of and show more positive attitudes towards other cultures and an appreciation of others.
    • Enhanced cognitive skills: Immersion students typically develop greater cognitive flexibility, demonstrating increased memory, superior problem-solving skills, and better attention control as well as an enhanced understanding of their primary language.
    • Improved self-esteem: Being able to communicate and excel academically in two languages gives immersion students greater self-esteem and sense of accomplishment.
    • Proven performance on standardized tests: Immersion students perform as well or better than non-immersion students on standardized tests.
    • Preparation for a global society and marketplace: Immersion students are better prepared for the global community and job markets where 21st-century skills are an asset.

Did You Know?

    • Knowing how to speak a second language will make it easier to learn a third language.
    • Using language in a variety of subjects increases the students’ flexibility with the language.
    • English speakers, despite learning through two languages, excel in their native English, scoring higher than peers studying only in English.
    • Many large worldwide companies will not even consider a potential employee for a job unless they are able to communicate with ease in at least two languages.

    Nearly 40 years of research has shown that immersion students score significantly better on standardized tests than non-immersion students.


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