Heritage Language Programs - Multiple Languages

International School of Tucson

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Address: 1730 North First Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85719

Contact: RC Young
Head of School

Email: info@InternationalSchoolofTucson.com RC.Young@umbc.edu

Telephone: 520 - 406 - 0552

Web address: www.InternationalSchoolofTucson.com

Dialects/Languages taught: French, German (starting Jan ‘07), Spanish , Mandarin Chinese (tentatively Aug 06; otherwise Jan 07)


Program Description

Purposes and goals of the program: Initially bilingual (English and another language); ultimately bi-literate; moving towards bicultural

Type of program

The format of the immersion program depends on the age level of the students. For students that are ages 3 – 5, the class is 100% immersion in non-English. Furthermore, students who are ages 6 – 11 are immersed half of the time in English and half of the time in another language.

Program mission statement:

Program Origins:The program was founded in 2005.

Parents' expectations for the program: Since the program is rather new, the parents’ expectations are not entirely clear. However, they do want their children to develop confidence and pride in their language skills.

Staff's expectations for the program: The staff share the same mindset as the parents.


Native Americans: 2.5 %

First-generation immigrants: 10 - 25%

Second-generation immigrants: 10 - 25%

Third-generation immigrants: 10 - 25%

Children of interethnic marriages: 50 – 67%

Non-immigrant residents: 10% and growing

Countries of origin: Austria, Belgium, Cameroon, Canada Dominican Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Mali, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, Peru, UK, and USA

Total student enrollment: 40

Identification of a heritage speaker:

Percentage of students who complete the program: The program is too new to establish this figure.

Possible reasons for not completing the program: So far one student left to go to a public school immersion program, and one left for financial reasons.

Students' attitudes toward the language varieties they speak: Students are incredibly positive and have shown a great deal of pride for their heritage skills.


Number of staff in program: 7

Languages in which staff members are proficient: English, French, German, and Spanish. Additionally, the instructors are native speakers in their own language, but have varying levels of English proficiency.


Professional development opportunities teachers have: In-service training and continuing education at a local community college or university

Professional development opportunities teachers need: Further teaching programs and second language methodologies

Hours per week students receive instruction: 30

Student grouping: Students are grouped by language level according to grade level:

English skills

Heritage skills

Skills and levels of language proficiency students reach by the end of the program:


Student qualities the program fosters:



Textbook:The program does not use a formal textbook; all materials are teacher-created.



Home-school connections or parent involvement: active Parent Association; and many activities with parents.

What the program has in place

Financial support

Special Challenges and Comments

Challenges: Start-up issues

Comments:The program is very new to answer questions related to research and evaluation of the program.


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