Chenowith Elementary School » Dual Language Immersion

Dual Language Immersion

We are proud to offer a dual immersion program (DLI) at Chenowith Elementary. This program provides language instruction that will prepare students to become bilingual and biliterate in two languages (English and Spanish).
Dual immersion education integrates native English-speaking and native Spanish-speaking students in the same classroom. Students develop oral and cognitive academic language in both languages while mastering grade-level knowledge and skills in all elementary content areas.

Program Overview:

In our Dual Language Immersion (DLI) Program, students are exposed to the same curriculum as their peers with the added opportunity to learn a second language. DLI is an organized curriculum designed to help students develop reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills in a second language. Students work and learn together, preparing them for a successful future in the multicultural world we live in. The program is a Two-Way immersion program, meaning that half of the students speak Spanish as their primary language and half of the students speak English as their primary language.

Students in the DLI program will begin Kindergarten, and continue through second grade, with a goal of 80% of their day in Spanish and 20% in English. In third grade, a gradual shift in language instruction begins with 60% in Spanish and 40% in English. In fourth and fifth grade instruction will be 50/50% in each language.

Our Dual Language program will move up a grade level each year in our elementary school, with future expansion into our middle and high school. The focus after elementary school will be to maintain and continue language development. The Dalles Middle School and High School will offer Spanish Language Arts and up to two additional courses, as staffing allows. Students in high school will have the opportunity to complete the portfolio and performance tasks necessary for earning a Bilingual Seal on their diploma.

Is DLI Right For Your Family?

There are many reasons families choose to participate in the dual language program:

  • maintain native language and/or the ease of becoming bilingual at an early age,
  • multicultural appreciation, and career opportunities.
  • Increasing communication and understanding among people of diverse languages and backgrounds. Research has proven that dual language education benefits native Spanish speakers, and native English speakers.
  • Children who have a love of learning, support, and encouragement from home will find success in the dual language Program.



Children must reside in the Chenowith zone at the time of completing the application to participate in the program. There are 26 places available in the kindergarten class, half of the places are held for native Spanish speakers and half of the places are held for native English or other language speakers.


If there is more interest in the program than space available, a lottery will be held during the third week of June. After the lottery, parents are notified whether their child was placed in the program or placed on the waitlist.

Chenowith Dual Language Transfer Information

Students in the Dry Hollow Elementary or Colonel Wright Elementary zone may apply for a transfer into the Chenowith Dual Language program if space is available.

*Transportation will be the responsibility of the family at this time