Chula Vista

Parents Concerned About Language Immersion Program Change

The new teaching arrangement at Heritage Elementary School has some parents upset

Heritage Elementary School in Chula Vista prides itself in its Dual Language Immersion Program (DLIP), where one teacher instructs students in Spanish in one classroom and the other teaches in English in a separate classroom. 

Concerned parents reached out to NBC 7 about changes happening to DLIP in the coming school year. It's a pilot program that has one teacher speaking both languages. 

"We feel duped," said parent Blanca Quintero, who has two children at the school in fourth and fifth grade. Her kids have been in DLIP since kindergarten. “When they sold us on the program, one of the most fundamental aspects of the program at Heritage was the fact that they had this two-teacher model.” 

Quintero said she wants the program to stay the way it is because it is the best way for students to learn a second langauge. 

“With the change, there’s not the strict language separation as far as the classrooms are concerned so there is going to be that tendency for the child to want to speak in English because that is their preferred language," added Quintero. 

We took her concerns to the Chula Vista Elementary School District. They said when a teacher volunteered to be the sole instructor of the DLIP, they chose to support him. 

“This instructional delivery method, called self-containment, where you have one teacher providing instructions in English and Spanish as opposed to team teaching, has worked well in three other high performing schools in our district," said Anthony Millican, a spokesperson with the Chula Vista Elementary School District. 

He added there are over 20 similar programs in their district and this pilot program will only be happening in this one classroom. 

"There are elements that aren’t working as well as they could," added Millican. "Bridging, for example, the loss of instructional time when you switch students from one classroom to the other.” 

Do you think students should have one teacher or two when learning a second language? 

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