World Language Immersion Program

Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) offers partial-immersion programs, often known as dual immersion one-way programs, in Spanish at select elementary and middle schools. The first program was established at Christopher Farms Elementary School in 2002.

Studies show that there are many advantages to bilingualism and acquiring a second language through an elementary immersion program.

Students attain higher levels of language proficiency through their high school education, priming them to pursue advanced study at university or to access employment opportunities.
Students gain a broader perspective of the world and disciplines such as music, art and literature by reading authentic articles and books, viewing media, and conversing with native speakers in global and local communities.
Several studies indicate that individuals who learn a second language are more creative and better at solving complex problems than those who do not.
Other studies correlate bilingual proficiency with higher scores on standardized tests and tests of both verbal and nonverbal intelligence.

Instructional Program

Students in a VBCPS language immersion program follow the same curriculum as their grade-level peers.

At the elementary school level, a team-teaching model is used to deliver instruction daily in both the target language and English beginning in first grade. Students receive instruction in mathematics and science in the target foreign language from one teacher and receive instruction in Language Arts and Social Studies in English from a second teacher. Lessons in elective classes such as art, music and physical education are in English.

Students completing the elementary partial-immersion program may elect to attend the middle school partial-immersion program where they continue to receive social studies instruction in the target language. They also refine their knowledge of the target language by taking a world language course for high school credit. Beginning as sixth graders with a level one world language course, students have the opportunity to complete three years of high school world language credits by the end of eighth grade. This prepares them for advanced world language study during their high school years by taking levels IV, V, AP Language and AP Literature.

Students completing the elementary and middle school partial-immersion sequence with a strong record (3.0 GPA and no disciplinary infractions) are guaranteed acceptance into the Global Studies and World Languages Academy at Tallwood High School.


The school division offers Spanish partial immersion programs at the following school locations:

Alanton Elementary School
Christopher Farms Elementary School
Landstown Middle School
Trantwood Elementary School

The program will expand to include additional school sites and languages as resources are available.


Students who live in the established attendance zone of a school hosting an elementary partial-immersion program are eligible to apply as rising first graders. As language learning is sequential, students will not be admitted after the first semester of second grade except in special circumstances. Heritage speakers of the target language or students transferring from other immersion programs may apply for admission at any time.

Contact Information

For more information about the school division’s world language immersion program, contact Jennifer Carson, K-12 world languages coordinator, in the Department of Teaching and Learning at 757.263.1469.