The Highlights Of The Dual Language Program

An outlook on what it’s like to be a part of immersion


Alondra Alcaide, Reporter

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In Venice High’s Dual Language Program, you can experience many cultural activities, celebrate important holidays, and learn something new.

Junior Melissa Baldwin has been in this Dual Immersion Program since kindergarten. 

“Personally as a mixed person, I’m very Americanized, so it was really nice to go to school and then be able to celebrate different holidays and just learn one half of my culture,” she said.  

The program starts with a “target language” which is either Spanish or Mandarin. This means that students will learn academic standards in the target language in kindergarten, with the 10% of English instruction focused on literacy skills that are unique to English 

Beginning in 2019, the Dual Immersion Program was introduced to Venice. Students first began the program at elementary schools like Bradley or Braddock at the kindergarten level.

After you go to Mark Twain and come to Venice High School, many people join from different schools if they either speak Mandarin or Spanish at home—or if it’s a language they want to learn as well. A few students from China have also joined the program. Venice has this program for students to have a new experience in other cultures and languages. 

The main teacher for Mandarin is Dali Luo, who is a lead teacher in the Immersion Programs. For Spanish, a new teacher is joining Bella since the last teacher unfortunately left.  

“I think it’s great. You speak Chinese in the class, and chose to learn Chinese culture and other subjects in Chinese.”

The tests also get very advanced and in there final year of the Dual Language they take a standardized exam to measure the test taker’s Chinese language proficiency called “HSK”, China’s official language test for non-native speakers. You have to take it to get certified to be able to translate for other people if that’s something someone wants to do. 

There is also a sponsor they have that is called Dragons Breath, in which they do activities for different grades from the programs. There is usually a performance that is done or an activity. Calligraphy is also done to get more into writing Mandarin.