Instructional Design


TLCS will support all students through two research-based designs that have proven effective to raise student achievement for low income and at-risk students:  Inquiry Based Learning and Dual Language Immersion.  An intentional focus and school-wide implementation of these research based practices with ongoing professional development and time for focused, teacher collaboration, has been shown to significantly increase achievement for all students, including socio-economically disadvantaged, minority and English language learners.




The purpose and fundamental goals of the Dual Immersion Program are to provide students with an educational model where they have the opportunity to:  


  1. Become bilingual/biliterate in English and Spanish;
  2. Achieve high academic standards in both languages; and
  3. Demonstrate an awareness and appreciation for our diverse global community.


The model is designed to provide all students with the opportunity to make significant contributions to the education of their peers.  Students from diverse linguistic, social, and cultural backgrounds are important and necessary to the success of the program.  All students are fully integrated through a structured, balanced and collaborative educational design.


In the 40+ years of research since the development of the Dual  Immersion Model, the most effective practices for accomplishing the purpose have been identified and standardized.  These core elements include class composition of a balanced number of native English speakers and native speakers of the target language (Spanish); significant instruction in the target language in the early grades (90% in grades K with a gradual increase of English instruction until reaching parity or 50/50 in grade 4 or 5); separation of languages for instruction (teachers use only Spanish during Spanish time and only English during English time); excellent instructional practices providing comprehensible input for all learning styles through hands-on, experiential techniques in a language-rich environment; incorporation of psycholinguistic and socio-cultural strategies as an intricate part of each student’s educational experience beginning in kindergarten; and parental choice, support and participation.


In order to achieve these goals, TLCS has chosen to use the most effective method of the Dual Immersion Program:  a modified 90/10 Model.  This model is based on a combination of research in immersion education in Canada and bilingual education research in the United States and other parts of the world. Students are immersed in the target language beginning in Transitional Kindergarten, and gradually increase the amount of English instruction each year.  Students learn all academic subjects in Spanish, with formal English reading instruction beginning in 1st or 2nd grade.  Students who are English learners begin structured English Language Development instruction in Kindergarten and continue until they are redesignated as fluent English proficient.  The United States Department of Education (USDOE) has recognized Dual Immersion as one of the few programs that is making a significant difference in the drop-out rate for students of Latino/Hispanic background.  

The success of the Dual Immersion Program Model is most evident through the achievement of its students.  Not only do immersion students graduate from the program fully bilingual and bi-literate, most demonstrate higher academic achievement levels than their monolingual peers as evidenced by years of data collection.  Dual Immersion students develop high levels of self-esteem and appreciation of others.  They realize the strength of collaboration and fully recognize the mutual benefits of teamwork.  These students have the wealth and depth of two linguistic systems, which increases their ability to problem solve, analyze, and comprehend a variety of academic tasks.  They feel at home even when not at home, have an interest in other languages and cultures, and begin the study of a third language as early as 3rd grade.  Perhaps the most significant trait of Dual Immersion students is the confidence they demonstrate when confronting new situations or academic tasks. These students carry with them the innate awareness of their personal accomplishments, while fully recognizing that it was through teamwork and collaboration that they were able to gain a language, while giving theirs to another.  

Language of Instruction by Grade Level


The following chart outlines the ratio of English to Spanish instruction by grade level:


Grade Level % Spanish % English % 3rd Lang Content
TK/Kinder/1st 90 10 World Music All academic content in Spanish

Science/Social Studies Content based ELD

2nd / 3rd 80 20 World Music All academic content in Spanish

ELA and Content Based ELD (Science / Social  Studies )

4th-5th 40 50 10 Spanish: SLA

Eng: ELA/ELD;  Math

Science/Soc Stud varies

6th-8th 30 60 10 ELA/SLA; Math in Eng; Science/Soc Stud varies by content