SLA’s language structure is divided into three distinct phases.
Phase 1 (K and younger): Systematic immersive learning for non-speakers of the target language; solidifying and expanding the target language for children with exposure
In Pre-K and Kindergarten, children are almost fully immersed in the target language. Enrichment in a third language is two class periods weekly.
Phase 2 (Grade 1–2): Solidifying academic skills, concepts, and language
Grades 1 and 2 are highly important academic years for children. This is a time they are learning to read, beginning to write, and developing a core understanding of critical mathematical concepts. During this phase, their main teachers instruct in the target language, but they have 1–2 periods of instruction in English daily (English Language Arts). The rest of their day is conducted in the target language. Children learn to read in both the target language and English. Enrichment in a third language is two class periods weekly.
Phase 3 (Grade 3–5): Consolidating, solidifying, and independent learning
By Grade 3, most children are reading in both English and the target language. Children are expected to have the language skills necessary not only to learn in both the target language and English, but to explain their thinking processes in both. They are also expected to be able to use sources in both languages to inform their studies in the sciences and social sciences. All instruction outside of English Language Arts, an English component of math, and the occasional enrichment class, is conducted in the target language. Enrichment in a third language is two class periods weekly.
Grade 6 is an entry point for both fluent speakers of the target language as well as beginners or students with only minimal exposure. These students’ classes in the target language (Language Arts, and components of Science, Social Studies, and Math) are differentiated by language level. Math is taught primarily in English in Middle School.