Students flourish in Wake County’s Spanish immersion program

Students flourish in Wake County's Spanish immersion program


CARY, N.C. — Some young students in Wake County are getting an early education in speaking a second language.

Students in the county’s first Spanish immersion classroom are getting the chance to learn in the setting from kindergarten all the way through at least middle school.


What You Need To Know

  • Only Spanish is spoken inside Wake County’s first Spanish immersion classroom
  • The open application period for next year ends in January
  • Studies show bilingual children outperform their peers who speak only one language 

Karen Wohlers is a kindergarten teacher at Dillard Drive Magnet  Elementary School.

“Students will learn math, science, socials, learning to read and write – everything in Spanish,” Wohlers said.

According to Wohlers, most of the students in the classroom do not speak Spanish at home so this was their first opportunity to learn it.

“At the beginning, it is very hard for them to understand,” Wohlers explained. “You have two or three weeks for them to get routine and structure in the class and after that, they just go with it.”

Wohlers came to Dillard Drive from Guatemala, where she was teaching English. 

Her family is still there, but she believes in this work with these students and loves seeing the progress they are already making. 

“It has been such a different experience, but fulfilling too because like, kids enjoy it so much, they feel so proud,” Wohlers said. “I think it is so satisfying to see you are reaching someone’s life.”

If you are a parent in Wake County and want your child to participate, the open application period is now through January 27. Click here for more information.



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