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Language immersion is more than learning another language. FAIS uses language as a lens to help students understand other cultures, think with a global perspective, and navigate the broader world around us.
As the longest-established language immersion school in Portland, FAIS builds this foundation early in the Lower School and expands upon it in the Middle School… developing global citizens with core values to help create a better and more peaceful world.
Students in immersion environments speak their second language as naturally as their first. Results from research show that these children not only learn the second language, but also their own language with clarity, and that they excel on both foreign-language and native-language standardized tests.
- Four immersion tracks for students with high-level second language experience:
- Mandarin Chinese
- English-focused track for students without prior second-language experience (International Track)
- All students begin a new language (immersion track students begin a third language)
- Certified, native-speaking teachers
- English instruction for all students in:
- English language arts
- Physical education
What the Research Says
Immersion programs maximize a child’s natural curiosity, ability to learn another language, and appreciation of other cultures and points of view. Research on child development shows this window of opportunity is highest between birth and age 6, so the earlier the better! Want to know more? Please see below for a collection of articles on the benefits of language immersion and bilingualism.
- Bilingualism Benefits Young and Old (Psychology Today, January 2019)
- What the Research Says about Immersion (University of Minnesota)
- Bilingual pupils outperform native English (The Times, United Kingdom, October 2018)
- The Bilingual Advantage in the Global Workplace (Language Magazine, June 2018)
- The joys and benefits of bilingualism (The Guardian, January 2018)
- Raising a Truly Bilingual Child (The New York Times: The Checkup, July 2017)
- What Happens in Language Immersion Programs in Atlanta (Atlanta Parent Magazine, January 2017)
- 6 Potential Brain Benefits of Bilingual Education (NPR: nprEd, November 2016)
- Why being bilingual works wonders for your brain (The Guardian, August 2016)
- Is Language Immersion Right for My Child? (Education Week, March 2016)
- The Superior Social Skills of Bilinguals (The New York Times: Gray Matter, March 2016)
- Bilingualism: Valuable for the Brain and Society (Education Week, March 2016)
- Dual-Language Programs Are on the Rise, Even for Native English Speakers (The New York Times, October 2015)
- Bilingualism Postpones Dementia and Alzheimer (Neurology Times, December 2014)
- 7 Reasons Why It's Good to Speak Another Language (Huffington Post: Huffpost Education, June 2014)
- Cognitive Advantages of Second Language Immersion Education (Psychology Today, January 2014)
- Should Bilingual Learning be Required? (Education Week, September 2013)
- Bilingual children have a two-tracked mind (Science Daily, July 2013)
- Understanding How the Brain Speaks Two Languages (Time Magazine, April 2013)
- Educators once opposed raising bilingual children. Experts now say it’s beneficial (The Washington Post, June 2012)
- Being bilingual 'boosts brain power (BBC News: Health, May 2012)
- The Bilingual Brain Is Sharper and More Focused, Study Says (The Wall Street Journal: Health Blog, April 2012)
- Why Bilinguals Are Smarter (The New York Times: Gray Matter, March 2012)
Questions? Want to learn more?
Finding the right school for your child is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make.
Whether you’re beginning your journey with preschool, prekindergarten, or kindergarten…or weighing your options for middle school… let’s explore how your child would flourish in our community.