Our mission is to provide a safe, nurturing, and developmentally appropriate early childhood environment for the children and families we serve, all while introducing and reinforcing the acquisition of the French language through daily interaction between caregivers and children.

About Atlas Immersion Academy

Atlas Immersion Academy is a Language Immersion early education institution that practices the proven technique of Early Total Immersion. French or Spanish is used 100% of the time with the students unless there is an issue with safety or the child’s emotional well-being. The full immersion environment created at Atlas is proven to lead students to greater comprehension and greater use of the second language than partial immersion settings.

Atlas has created two different sets of programs for students of different age groups: Early Childhood Students, and School Age students. Early Childhood students are further broken down into Infants, Wobblers, Toddlers, Early Preschool, Preschool, and Pre-Kinder, and School aged students (children K – age 12) can participate in either After School Programs, or Camp Days that take place during school closures and late starts.

Atlas has locations in West Linn, SW Portland, and SE Portland.

Methodology: Early Total Immersion

At Atlas, we follow the proven immersion education model of Early Total Immersion.  In this model, the target language (French or Spanish, here) is used 100% of the time in the classroom, unless safety or the child’s emotional well-being is compromised.  Through maximizing the input of the target language at this age, young learners have shown to have greater comprehension and use of the new language than in partial immersion settings.

Where do Atlas graduates attend elementary school?

We hope that our kids will eventually attend French, Spanish, or other language, immersion elementary schools if possible, and grow into multilingual global citizens.  Regardless of where our kids attend elementary school, however, their brain development will have benefited from the early exposure to a second language, and prime them for future language learning.

What does the research show?

Research supports what our classroom teachers see at Atlas, which is that
  • learning a foreign language comes easily and naturally through play and daily routines
  • young children do not experience the inhibitions that adolescents and adults often experience when learning a second language
  • young children lack the higher reasoning ability to “over-analyze” what they are learning, and instead absorb what they are exposed to
  • young children tend to develop more accurate pronunciation and intonation in the target language than do older children and adults
  • In environments where the child’s native language (English, most often) is not prohibited between pupils (thus not belittling the child’s native language or forcing the use of the new language), children tend to have positive attitudes about both the majority language (English) and the minority language (French or Spanish, here)
  • When learning curriculum through another language in a total immersion setting, no negative impact has been found to occur on acquisition of core skills (in other words, learning math in Spanish will translate into general math skills).
Reference cited: Baker, Colin, and Sylvia Prys Jones.  “Section Four: Bilingual Education ‘Strong Forms of Bilingual Education'”.

Have a question?