Second Language Proficiency

At Avenues, our goal is to graduate students who are truly at ease beyond their borders. Second language instruction is integral to achieving this goal. Guided by the most current research on language acquisition and evidence showing the significant social and cognitive benefits of learning a second language, we have created an immersion curriculum designed to educate students who can converse comfortably on subjects ranging from the everyday to the academic, with a focus on global awareness.

At Avenues, students in nursery through fourth grade spend half of their time learning in English and half of their time learning in the second language of their choice—Spanish or Chinese. Beginning in September 2017, fifth grade students will also be in immersion classrooms. The Chinese language curriculum at Avenues teaches speaking in Mandarin and writing in Simplified Chinese. All content subjects (literacy, math, social studies, music and art) are taught in both English and Spanish or Chinese. Students in grades five through 12 receive intensive language study in the immersion style. Students in these grades are placed in leveled language classes according to their proficiency.

In addition to the social and personal benefits of being multi-lingual, current research shows that second language acquisition is highly beneficial to the development of brain functions and cognitive skills. Our coordinated curriculum in both English and the immersion languages leads to a high level of academic rigor and an opportunity for interdisciplinary learning that is engaging and meaningful.

LANGUAGE CHOICE ON YOUR APPLICATION

Immersion grades (Nursery–4)

Please select a preference for Chinese, Spanish or “No Preference.” Please note that the choice of language is a factor in our selection process. Applicants are admitted to a particular language track. If you truly have no preference between Spanish and Chinese, the admissions committee will choose a language placement for you in order to achieve a balanced class composition.

Intensive Language Grades

Students in grades five through 12 will have intensive language instruction classes as they develop proficiency in either Spanish or Chinese. Beginning in September 2017, fifth grade students will be in immersion classrooms.

MORE ON IMMERSION INSTRUCTION

Avenues teachers are extremely well qualified, with extensive training in subject content and, for the language teachers, in second language instruction. English and second language teachers collaborate extensively to create and nurture the social, emotional and academic growth of their students. Teachers share the responsibility for teaching the content and curriculum and communicate with each other regularly about student progress and concerns.

Language teachers use the second language 100 percent of the time for both instructional and procedural interactions, providing sufficient input for consistent incremental assimilation of the language. Through formal and informal assessments, teachers monitor students’ progress and offer opportunities to strengthen their language skills through dynamic and differentiated groupings.

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Avenues students will become proficient in a second language, which is fundamental to being a truly global citizen.

Recent Articles from OPEN, our news and discussion blog

October 17, 2017

Students Examine Identity in Class on Gender, Sexuality and Race

by Stephanie Shore, 11th and 12th Grade World Course Teacher


During the first few weeks of Gender, Sexuality, and Race, 11th and 12th grade students examined their own identity and how it may affect the way the learn, think, and speak about gender, sexuality, race and socioeconomic class 

October 12, 2017

Buildling a Math Mindset

by Stacy Rezos, 4th Grade Head Teacher


“I can’t do this...yet!” and “My math brain just grew!” were just a few comments made during our math mindset activities in 4th grade. All students in the Lower Division spent the first two weeks of school building and strengthening their math mindsets. The purpose behind this important work was to establish a supportive math community that encourages all learners and to build upon the belief that everyone can do math at a high level.  

October 10, 2017

Empathy for Happier Children (and Adults)

by Roberto Baldeschi-Balleani, Pre-kindergarten Head Teacher


Empathy—putting oneself in the shoes of another—is the ability that allows us to really get in touch with other people. The good news is that this important ability can be developed from an early age. In the Early Learning Center at Avenues, nursery and pre-K teachers are working with children to help them get in touch with their feelings and the feelings of others.  

October 6, 2017

Students as Inventors: The Culmination of a Statistics Unit

by Fanny Sosenke, Middle Grades Math Teacher


A temperature-changing jacket? A backpack that transforms into a hammock? These are just a couple of the inventions that 6th graders created as part of a math unit on statistics.  

October 3, 2017

Global Journeys Taiwan: Making New Friends (and Discovering New Doritos Flavors) at a Taiwanese High School

by Grace Jackson, China Content and Marketing Manager


This past year's Global Journeys Taiwan program was focused on culture and climate change.  

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