Skip to main content

The Hurley School

Dos Idiomas, diversas culturas · español · Two languages, many cultures

How does the bilingual curriculum work?

The model changes as our students grow. K1 is full Spanish immersion. Then in the lower grades, children build a strong foundation in literacy by learning to read and write in their dominant language, while spending the rest of the day in Spanish on Mondays through Wednesdays and English on Thursdays and Fridays. After second grade, children move to a 50/50 model, switching languages each week, and in fifth grade and beyond, language switches with each new unit of study in a class. See our Bilingual Model page to learn more about becoming bilingual at the Hurley.

Why start in the very early grades?

The Hurley dual language program starts immediately in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten because studies have shown that children learn languages with greater ease at an earlier age, and that true language acquisition takes 5 to 6 years. At the Hurley, we want our students to have the greatest possible head start.

Will English-speaking students fall behind on their learning?

No. Studies show that in 4 to 5 years students in dual-language classrooms typically outperform their peers in monolingual (all-English, standard) classrooms. For evidence of the Hurley’s competitive advantage, see Academic Excellence.

Is the dual-language curriculum the same as that taught in ‘regular’ all-English kindergarten, first, and second grade classrooms?

Yes. The Hurley follows all the Boston Public School standards and uses the BPS curriculum, at the same time that it immerses its students in a second language and engages them in our many extra and innovative learning programs,.  

Will students have the second language skills they need to learn new academic material?

Yes. Teachers use special strategies to ensure that students are progressing on grade level in all academic subjects.

Exactly how does the Hurley’s bilingual model work? How do classes switch between English and Spanish?

We use different methods in different grades, based on what is developmentally appropriate and builds the strongest foundation for learning. For instance, in the early grades, native English-speaking students have math and other subjects in Spanish, at the same time that they achieve fluency in English literacy. This foundation is critical for learning in both languages. Students who are proficient readers in their native language then switch to reading in their second language. In the upper grades, students learn all their subjects in English one week, and Spanish the next. In the Middle School, specific subjects are taught in English and others in Spanish.