Bilingualism, Biliteracy, Multiculturalism and High Academic Achievement
What is an immersion program?
The Magnet Immersion Program at Westdale Middle School was created to teach sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students through an “immersed” world language curriculum instead of teaching language as an independent subject. Activities related to the French and Spanish languages and the cultures of all French speaking countries, Spain, and Latin America are incorporated into the daily curriculum.
At Westdale Middle School immersion students take math, science, social studies, and literature in the second languages of French or Spanish. A few students are enrolled in classes for both languages. Immersion instruction is 95% in Spanish or French and taught by highly qualified native speakers from Spain, Columbia, Cuba, France, Guadeloupe, and Martinique. The goal of the immersion program at WMS is to teach students to be fluent in a target language other than English, and to gain the skills necessary to understand and communicate in that language.
Teaching in a second language requires more visual and application activities, because of the additional difficulty of teaching unit concepts in the second language. Teachers speak only the target language to teach academic subjects, using a wide range of instructional strategies and materials. Students must speak in the second language even when chatting with each other! In addition to the immersion program activities, magnet students enjoy all of the school-wide opportunities offered at Westdale Middle. Many of the students are also in the talented, gifted, or Great Scholars Academy classes.
In order to participate in the program, students must meet all magnet school requirements, plus be fluent Spanish and/or French speakers. Most of the immersion students came to Westdale Middle School from BRFLAIM, a very successful elementary immersion program. Westdale also offers a Heritage Language Program for students with a home language of Spanish. The students in this program come to us from many different elementary schools across the parish. The program currently has 140 students and has become a very hard working and successful part of the overall program at Westdale.
In 2022, Westdale Middle will add a Mandarin language program when students at BRFLAIM matriculate to middle school.
For more information, contact Magnet Program Site Coordinator, Dena Nabers at 924-1308 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2011 Spanish Embassy School of The Year National Middle School- 1st Place–
This award is given to schools in the USA that show excellence in Content and Language Integrated Learning Programs where Spanish is the target language
2013 School of Distinction Award-Magnet Schools of America
The foremost national authority on magnet schools and their educational programs, Magnet Schools of America (MSA), has singled out the World Language Immersion Program at Westdale Middle for award, recognizing our cutting-edge program and curriculum as a standard of excellence for others in the United States.
2013 and 2017 State Certification by the Louisiana State Department of Education
Westdale Middle School has been designated a state-certified World Language Immersion School by the Louisiana Department of Education, based on overall excellence in offering high quality, highly effective world language immersion learning and teaching.
A seal of quality awarded by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs to schools providing outstanding bilingual education in French as part of their curriculum. Outstanding institutions demonstrate strong bilingual academic programs, qualified teachers, on-going pedagogical training, a strong network of French partners and resources, and the successful certification of students through French language testing, such as the DELF/DALF exam.
2012-2017 DELF EXAM
French immersion students received A2 or B1 DELF exams at Westdale Middle School during the school year and receive lifetime diplomas presented by the Consul General of France recognizing their accomplishment. In 2017 100% of students passed the B1 DELF exam.
The Baton Rouge Immersion Cooperative is a non-profit organization dedicated to elevating, expanding and supporting world language immersion programs in the East Baton Rouge School System. The group is comprised of parents, immersion principals, teachers, staff and community members.