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Bilingual education options increase in Corvallis
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Bilingual education options increase in Corvallis

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The Corvallis School District has been increasing the scope of its dual immersion program in recent years, and now a private school and a new preschool will continue the trend of increasing bilingual education in Corvallis.

Beginning in the 2012-13 school year the Corvallis School District began to phase out English-only classrooms at Garfield and Lincoln elementary schools in favor of dual language immersion classrooms where native English and Spanish speakers learn both languages simultaneously.

At the start of the 2014-15 school year the Corvallis Montessori School will convert all six of its classrooms to a bilingual classrooms.

Adele Carey, head of the Corvallis Montessori School, said Spanish has been part of the school’s curriculum in recent years, and it is increasing the level of Spanish instruction by hiring teaching native Spanish speakers as assistants for every classroom. The assistants will speak only Spanish to the students.

“Spanish is the up-and-coming language. Many jobs today require Spanish,” she said.

She added that there is extensive research showing that from birth to age seven kids can learn languages with ease.

The Montessori school had an enrollment of more than 110 students last year, and has programs for preschoolers as young as 15 months old, and for elementary up to 12 years old.

She said Montessori education includes lots of geography, and having Spanish curriculum makes a natural segue into the countries of a large portion of the world.

Carey said the new curriculum will give students a global view, and the preschool students in the bilingual program will be ahead of their peers if they go to a dual immersion public school.

For more information about the Corvallis Montessori School, see www.

corvallismontessori.org, or call 541-753-2513. The school is located at 2730 N.W. Greeley Ave.

Ingrid Garcia, a certified teacher from Mexico who has substituted in the Corvallis School District, will open a bilingual preschool in Corvallis, Personitas Preschool, on Sept. 1. The school will offer language learning for children from both English- and Spanish-speaking families.

“I’m trying to open a place that is a learning environment,” she said.

Garcia said that there is a need for more bilingual programs in Corvallis because of the growing population of native Spanish speakers. She added that many children from Spanish-speaking families either learn English in school and lose their Spanish, or don’t learn English at all. Early education can help them learn both languages, she said.

“We can help people get started,” she said.

Personitas will serves up to six children ages 3-6 at a time, in three-hour sessions several times a day. For more information about the program, see http://www.personitaspreschool.com or call 541-740-4408. Personitas is located at 5140 S.W. Hillview Ave.

Anthony Rimel covers K-12 education. He can be reached at 541-758-9526 or anthony.rimel@lee.net.

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