“Language and culture are commodities that build a positive image for a country.” Anon.
The Korean Immersion Program (KIP) at Claire Lilienthal School is a Dual Language Immersion program that integrates Korean speaking and English speaking students to develop bilingualism in both sets of students. KIP attracts students from both English- and Korean-speaking backgrounds, and leverages each group’s native language to develop second language skills in both groups while maintaining and strengthening the first.
Claire Lilienthal School is a kindergarten through eighth grade public school in the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD). SFUSD is a pioneer of language immersion programs, and, in addition to KIP, operates schools offering immersion programs in Cantonese, Spanish, and Mandarin.
Today at Claire Lilienthal, KIP annually accepts 22 students from an applicant pool typically numbering over one hundred for each year’s incoming Kindergarten class. For Kindergarten and for grades 1 through 3, one teacher per class, proficient in both Korean and English, implements a program of instruction that fully comports with the State of California Adopted Curriculum. In grades 4 and 5, a single combined grade level class is similarly instructed by a single KIP teacher, with the assistance of a second bilingual teacher who teaches fifth grade math and science in Korean. At the middle school level, KIP students in grades 6 – 8 attend two classes per day in Korean, typically mathematics and an elective course.
All KIP students are taught to the same standards as General Education students. There are no different learning objectives for the various subject areas; KIP simply provides that instruction in Korean as well as English.
KIP students consistently achieve high scores on standardized tests in all subject areas.
Today’s KIP students also learn about Korean culture through activities such as song and dance, traditional Korean art, and celebration of Korean holidays. These activities are enriched and made all the more relevant by the active participation of Korean family members and members of the broader San Francisco Korean community. Moreover, KIP students enjoy the opportunity to share many aspects of their Korean cultural activities with Claire Lilienthal’s general education students in order to foster greater understanding and appreciation of Korean language, culture, and history for all students.
Please enjoy the following video to learn more about KIP at Claire Lilienthal.