Renowned as one of the very best in Manhattan, the Dual Language (DL) Spanish Program at PS 163 immerses children in two languages starting in Kindergarten, with all subjects taught in both languages, usually alternating between days. Classes are balanced between English-dominant, Spanish-dominant, and bilingual children, which enables them to learn not only from their teachers but from each other as well. The updated curriculum aligns with the NYS Next Generation Learning Standards, so students are equally or better prepared for their standardized exams.
Upon completion of the program, students are not only proficient in both spoken languages but also biliterate, with a richer understanding of Latin culture and heritage. Led by the DL teachers, a new optional after school Spanish Club enriches the acquisition of Spanish language through experiential activities that also explore the different cultures of Spanish speaking countries through arts and crafts, music, cooking, and games.
Consistently shown in academic education, developmental and psychological studies, the benefits of childhood multilingualism are extensive, including:
Long-term cognitive benefits including stronger analytical and social skills
A deep appreciation for other cultures and an innate acceptance of cultural differences
Superior reading, verbal and writing skills
Potential protective effects against dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
Higher standardized test scores
Some accounts from families and students of the DL program:
We've been more than 10 years in the dual language program with my three children, and these dedicated and hard-working teachers continue to inspire, stimulate, and nurture them. The recent addition of our new spanish club is a perfect example. My child comes home with a deeper appreciation and understanding not just of the language, but of the culture and heritage. I am forever grateful to this remarkably diverse group of students, families, and our exceptionally committed teachers! -Erica B.
I feel very lucky to have launched my education in the PS 163 Dual Language Program. The diversity was unparalleled- culturally, ideologically, racially, and socioeconomically. My teachers were warm, caring, and very invested in my learning. As I now head off to college, it is a wonderful gift to be multilingual! - Sheyla Z.
When we decided to raise our family in Manhattan, we wanted both a strong academic program and an experience for our two sons that was uniquely New York: to be able to appreciate, learn with and from peers different from them and be part of a diverse school community. We chose DL at PS 163 because it gave us what we were looking for, and has exceeded our expectations – from the teachers’ dedication to the wonderful friends we have made. And as a non-native Spanish speaking family in our eighth year in DL, we went from helping our sons with their homework in Spanish, to having them translate for us! - Ian H.