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World Language Immersion

The Magnet Immersion Program at Westdale Middle School was created to teach sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students through an “immersed” world language curriculum.  Activities related to the French, Mandarin, and Spanish languages and cultures in which they are spoken are incorporated into the daily curriculum.

At Westdale Middle School, immersion students take math, science, social studies, and literature in the second languages of French, Mandarin or Spanish. A few students are enrolled in classes for both languages.  Immersion instruction is 95% in Spanish, Mandarin, or French and taught by highly qualified native speakers from Spain, Columbia, Cuba, France, Guadeloupe, and Martinique. The goal of the immersion program at WMS is to teach students to be fluent in a target language other than English and to gain the skills necessary to understand and communicate in that language.

Teaching in a second language requires more visual and application activities because of the additional difficulty of teaching unit concepts in the second language. Teachers speak only the target language to teach academic subjects, using a wide range of instructional strategies and materials. Students must speak in the second language even when chatting with each other.  In addition to the immersion program activities, magnet students enjoy all of the school-wide opportunities offered at Westdale Middle. Many of the students are also in the talented, gifted, or Great Scholars Academy classes.

In order to participate in the program, students must meet all magnet school requirements, plus be fluent Spanish, Mandarin, and/or French speakers.  Most of the immersion students came to Westdale Middle School from BRFLAIM, a very successful elementary immersion program. Westdale also offers a Heritage Language Program for students with a home language of Spanish.  The students in this program come to us from many different elementary schools across the parish. The program has become a very hard working and successful part of the overall program at Westdale.

For more information, contact Magnet Program Site Coordinator, Dena Nabers at 924-1308 or at

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