Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) decides to begin a Korean-English Dual Language Immersion program starting August 2019.
By Anna Kim
A Korean-English Dual Language Immersion program will be put in place for Gwinnett County in August 2019. Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) has recently approved this program and unmoored sailing to Korean language and cultural world.
Hereupon, the students of the schools that offer this program will spend at least half of their school day in the target language—Korean—and the other half of their day in English. Immersion students are taught Math, Science, Literacy and sometimes Social Studies in Korean, while they are taught English Language Arts, Reading, and usually Specials in English.
GCPS will consider allowing first grade students, as well as kindergarteners, to enroll in the program in the year 2019, although GCPS has not announced which school will host the Korean language program or how many students will be admitted. The program will add a grade each year so that its students will stay in the dual language program through the 12th grade.
Georgia Department of Education also posts the benefits of the Dual Language Immersion Program on its website.
The benefits of DLI are:
Second Language Skills: DLI students achieve higher proficiency in the second language than with traditional Foreign Language instruction.
Cognitive Skills: DLI students typically develop greater cognitive flexibility, demonstrating increased attention and memory, superior problem-solving skills as well as an enhanced understanding of their primary language.
Performance on Standardized Tests: DLI students perform as well as or better than English-only students on standardized tests in English, including students from a range of socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds, as well as with diverse cognitive and linguistic abilities.
Intercultural Competency: DLI students are more aware of and generally show more positive attitudes towards other cultures and an appreciation of other people.
Long-Term Benefits: DLI students are better prepared for the global community and job markets in the 21st century.
Higher Attendance-Rates and Fewer Drop-Outs: Students from DLI programs have higher attendance rates and lower drop-out rates compared to regular programs.
The Korean community hails the Korean-English Dual Language Immersion Program for Gwinnett County and the benefits with which the students will thrive.
“This is truly wonderful news!” said Liza Park, the lead petitioner for the Yi Hwang Academy of Philosophy, Art & Science. “When we petitioned GCPS with our application for the Yi Hwang Korean-English Dual Language Immersion charter school earlier this year, our primary goal was to make a Korean language program available for our Gwinnett children. This is a victory for all of us. Gwinnett children will have a Korean dual language immersion program, and GCPS is able to expand its language program options.”
Speaking of the Yi Hwang Academy, a charter elementary dream school where students learn STEAM programs in both Korean and English, it also gears towards the school establishment in Fulton County. Charter schools are public schools, so Yi Hwang Academy is free of charge.
Yi Hwang Academy is still in the process and plans to pursue a charter school in Fulton County early next year. They already had their orientation with Fulton County Schools at the beginning of this month. Their board will meet with FCS once more by December and then they turn in their formal applications to FCS in January, also planning to apply directly to the state of Georgia as an alternative plan. The application will be due in spring, usually in April.
“We have the same goal for our children, and Korean language immersion in public schools is a great opportunity that will benefit the education of the children in our community – and it will expose the Korean language and culture to all children – not just Korean children,” said Mrs. Park. “Yi Hwang Academy will promote Korean language and culture in depth and encourage the community to embrace this compelling opportunity for their children, going beyond Fulton County.”
You can garner more information about the ideal charter school at Yihwangacademy.com
Liza Park petitions Yi Hwang Academy of Philosophy, Art & Science in a hearing with GCPS.
Liza Park, the attorney at law who proposes Yi Hwang Academy, delivers a statement to Georgians.
Yi Hwang Academy website.