Learning a second language through a foreign language immersion program is a wonderful thing for a child to experience. Whether you want your child to learn Spanish or French or Chinese, the Montgomery County Maryland public school system has a program for you. In addition, Montgomery County is home to the French School and the German School, both private schools focusing on teaching those languages through immersion.
Immersion Program or Second Language?
Is your goal for your child to learn a second language in a formal setting? There are two ways to approach that goal. You can have your child take daily or weekly classes in a second language or you can enroll your child in an immersion program. The main difference between an immersion setting and a foreign language class is the approach to second language learning. In an immersion program, language is a method for teaching the content rather than the subject of instruction. Montgomery County offers several excellent programs for families who want their children to learn a second language through an immersion program rather than just in a language class.
Where are the Foreign Language Immersion Programs?
The Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) offers immersion programs in three target languages at seven schools. Partial instruction in Chinese is offered at Bayard Rustin Elementary in Rockville and Potomac Elementary . The county also offers full instruction in both French and Spanish in five additional schools. The French immersion programs are at Maryvale and Sligo Creek. The Spanish immersion programs are at Burnt Mills, Rock Creek Forest, William T. Page and Rolling Terrace (partial for current immersion students only in Grades 3-5.)
Learn More About the Immersion Program
Students may begin in Kindergarten and can continue through Grade 8. Some immersion programs are based on geographic location and/or give preference to local school students.
To learn more about the elementary immersion programs, hear from each school’s lead teacher, and understand the admission process, please view the presentation recording by visiting: https://youtu.be/Oii5cuM4V6k Individual school presentation information can be found here.
Any student entering grades K–5 in the following school year may participate in the immersion lottery. Students may choose to continue into the feeder middle school immersion program.
How to Apply to the Immersion Program
As of August 2021, Montgomery County had not announced the schedule for applications for the 2022-2023 school year. However, in order to participate in the immersion lottery process, you need a MCPS assigned ID number. To secure an MCPS Student ID number, please review the MCPS Registration Survey This is the first step in the process of registering your student into the school system. For more information, call 240-740-2556 or email DCCAPS@mcpsmd.org. Even though the system probably won’t open until later in the year, you might as well be prepared.
More Information About the Individual Immersion Programs
Chinese Immersion – Elementary
French Immersion – Elementary
Spanish Immersion – Elementary