Markham Dual Immersion Program

SPICE at Markham Develops Bilingual and Biliterate Learners
Posted on 09/14/2023
SPICE Spelling BeeEdwin Markham Elementary is the only Vacaville Unified School District site to offer a dual-immersion program. The program, SPICE (Spanish-English Peer Immersion and Cultural Education) offers its students an exciting opportunity to learn to read, write, and communicate naturally in two languages, English and Spanish. The ability to communicate in more than one language equips our students with a skill that will provide them with a competitive advantage for their future careers, challenge their mental development, and instill cultural competency.Markam Elementary SPICE Program 2nd graders

SPICE was started more than 30 years ago at Markham and has continued to grow throughout the years. Currently, there are over 450 students enrolled in the program, roughly half of the school’s population. Approximately one-third of the Markham student population are English Learners. The SPICE program benefits from this diversity, as students have the opportunity to learn from their peers who are native speakers of both Spanish and English.

The program is a unique opportunity in that Spanish speaking students are able to receive reading and writing support to develop their primary language while also learning English. Additionally, English speakers have the opportunity to learn Spanish and further develop their learning in English. Because the program tries to balance language groups, students hear authentic language spoken by their respective peers.

Markam Elementary SPICE Program 2nd gradersSPICE contributes to the diversity at Markham Elementary by drawing students from various backgrounds and language groups. It's not limited to Spanish-speaking students; students who speak other languages like Chinese or Farsi can also participate and learn Spanish in the program.

SPICE goes beyond language instruction and includes a multicultural component. Students engage with literature and learn about historical figures and events that encourage them to develop a global perspective, cultural tolerance, and a sense of equity. This aspect helps them become more engaged in their community and the world at large.
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