Dual Language Spanish Enrichment Program in Bellevue
Updated: Aug 29
Creating Inclusive Environments for Our Children and Teachers*
At all of our Lil’ People’s World locations, we believe that each child’s home language should be celebrated, utilized, and accessible. Our teachers make a point to collect words, phrases, and visual references to encompass this knowledge. Our children thrive on knowing that they can hear comfortabilities from home as well as establishing pride in their culture.
We are so very excited to announce that our Bellevue preschool will be taking this theory one step further by embarking on center-wide Spanish language learning. In fact, our Bellevue location has been designated a Dual Language Spanish Enrichment Program, part of Washington state’s Fair Start for Kids Act. Each of the classrooms at our Bellevue center have brought Spanish into their lesson plans, day-to-day communication, and festivities.
Most recently, at our June in-service day, our staff members were elated as we announced our intentions to incorporate Spanish into all documents, dailies, curriculum, and interactions. Creating an environment that is both inclusive for the children and the staff, sets the bar high for attachment and positive interactions.
You don’t need to be a native Spanish speaker to embrace a new language. Studies have shown that children retain information at a record speed between birth to age five. These studies are spot on as our children thrive in classrooms where more than one language is spoken. Culture plays a critical role in social and cognitive development as it is directly related to language interactions. Implementing a second language, or even a third language, helps to develop the child as a whole.
Our teachers are an integral part of the children’s cognitive development, and they embrace every opportunity to create an environment to reflect our beliefs.
“This makes me happy,” says Miss Reyna, a lead teacher at our Bellevue location. “I feel noticed in my school and understood. Parents are more understanding when they hear us speak to the children in Spanish.”
Miss Angelica and Miss Zyniah from the Bellevue Pre-K room agree that though every teacher does not speak Spanish, all languages are reflected in the classroom, and they are happy to be a part of this impactful change. Miss Rachael and Miss Laura of Treetop Village note that as a team of Spanish and English speakers, they make great co-leads and can’t wait to witness all the positive outcomes.
Miss Nani is leading the way as Bellevue’s Program Supervisor and resident expert on Spanish translation. She has already put in so much love and dedication to the improvement of positive dual communication. This is not an easy task, and we have just upped the ante.
“I was excited but nervous at first,” Miss Nani says. “This is a big deal, and being able to share opportunities for our teachers to be more inclusive is what we have always strived for. The teachers deserve to have this opportunity.”
Way to go, Lil’ People’s World Bellevue!!
You are what our Kirkland and Seattle locations strive to become.
Thank you so much for all your hard work and dedication toward our future in early childhood education.
*Please note that Lil' People's World Language Learning Program is a Dual Language Learning Program and not an Immersive Language Learning Program. The program follows a Two-Way or Partial Immersion instructional model, with equal emphasis placed on both English and the target language. Unlike a Total Immersion Program, our program allows instruction in English across grades. Our primary goal is to provide students with a comprehensive and balanced experience in both languages to build language development fluency.