What is language immersion?

Language immersion is an education technique in which students learn the core curriculum in a target language. At HudsonWay Immersion School (HWIS), students begin the Early Childhood program with 100% of instruction in either Mandarin or Spanish. The target language percentage relative to English instruction is slowly reduced as the student progresses through elementary school and middle school. By the fourth grade, children can learn a 3rd language in addition to their target language and English.

The immersion core curriculum at HWIS includes the same subjects found in a monolingual curriculum; however, the classes are taught in Mandarin or Spanish in varying degrees as students progress through the program. Learn more about the HudsonWay Immersion Model in Target Language.

Immersion Model in Target Language

Age 2

Target Language: 100%

Ages 3-4

Target Language: 90%

Grades K-1

Target Language: 80%

Grades 2-3

Target Language: 70%

Grades 4-5

Target Language: 50%

Grades 6-8

Target Language: 40%

Can immersion work if the target language is not spoken at home?

Approximately 80% of families who have children attending HudsonWay Immersion School do not speak the target language at home. The small student-teacher ratio of 6:1 and the attention afforded to each student ensure that a bilingual home environment is not a requirement for a student to succeed at HWIS.

Although some immersion programs will not take new students after 1st grade, HWIS will. To ensure students succeed, teachers work diligently to assign age-appropriate homework and can work one-on-one with students needing assistance. HudsonWay Immersion School also has an after school program.

What does the research say about language immersion?

There are definitive cognitive benefits to immersion education. Students develop a higher proficiency in both English and the target language relative to their monolingual peers. Immersion students also learn excellent reading skills and enhanced mathematical logic skills.

Children emerge from an immersion education with a competitive academic edge. The research is expansive and encompasses an array of measurement standards including Educational Record Bureau (ERB) testing and Avant Assessments. HudsonWay Immersion School students consistently attain the Seal of Biliteracy as a result of their testing performance.

See our compilation of the Research & Benefits of language immersion.

Immersion By the Numbers

Learn about academics at HWIS