Spanish Immersion Students Enjoy The Language - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Spanish Immersion Students Enjoy The Language

 DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- The Spanish Immersion program at Our Lady of Guadalupe School in Dubuque is in its 8th year now. This fall, the school will expand the program to become a language and literacy magnet school. That will be part of a new initiative with nearby Clarke College in Dubuque.

In addition, the Archdiocese of Des Moines will start an immersion program this fall,  based on the success of the eight-year program in the Dubuque Archdiocese at Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Five years ago, KWWL-TV paid a visit to OLG to see the program first hand. Recently, we went back to the school, where the 5th graders will leave the program after next week.

In the fall, most of them will start attending Mazzuchelli School in Dubuque, where they hope to continue their Spanish success. These OlG students have been in the Spanish Immersion program since Kindergarten, and say they have truly enjoyed the experience.

Of the Our Lady school, Principal Lori Apel says everything at Our Lady of Guadalupe is embedded in the Catholic faith. That is the never-ending message to the 142 students who attend the Dubuque school. Lori says, "The uniqueness of Our Lady of Guadapule is that we are a Spanish Immersion school. There, we produce students whom, at the end of fifth grade, have functioning fluency in Spanish, while at the same time, have a high level of literacy in English."

International teachers, like Circe Marquez, truly enhance the program, both culturally and in authenticity. Circe is a native of Colombia, and was a teacher in her native country become coming to Iowa. In Colombia, she taught English to Colombian students. Here, she teachers Spanish. She says, "I always wondered what it would be like to teach my own language to foreign students. You give part of yourself, your culture and your  language. The students are very bright." Watch the video story.

Online Reporter:  Ron Steele



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