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

April 20, 2018

An Interdisciplinary Project Connects Avenues 2nd Graders to Students in Nepal

by Rosalyn McCaine, Lower Division Art Teacher


Our 2nd grade students have been taking part in an amazing global art collaboration, much of it completed in their immersion art class. A program called Crossroads has partnered Avenues New York, Jan Kath gallery, and Kelsang Primary School in Kathmandu, Nepal, in a year-long carpet-design and pen-pal partnership.  

April 19, 2018

Avenues Global Journeys: Climate Change and Culture in Taiwan

by Grace Jackson, China Content and Marketing Manager


On a recent Global Journeys program, a group of 9th and 10th graders looked closely at how climate change and sustainability relate to culture in Taiwan.  

April 17, 2018

Keeping Students Active and Engaged in Middle Grades Math

by Fanny Sosenke, Middle Grades Math Teacher


One of the challenges of teaching math is making sure all kids are engaged and all kids learn. The way I address this challenge in my classroom is by first having a several activities planned during the 82-minute class period and by having different math levels of activities available to students.  

April 13, 2018

Avenues’ First Spring Break Camp

by Zoe Shan, Head of Summer Programs


This year, Avenues offered spring-break camp for the first time. During week one campers explored Science of Gourmet Cooking with PoSoCo, while the second week was Mini Musical: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  

April 11, 2018

Debating in Chinese

by Spencer Baron, Upper Division Chinese Teacher


Many students think of language class as a place to acquire basic life skills in a new language, but I imagine not many of my students in Chinese 3 had thought they could have a political debate in their target language.  

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