Spanish Immersion

Wakefield serves as the home for Arlington Public Schools’ high school level of the Spanish dual-language partial immersion program. The immersion program at Wakefield is designed to continue and expand on the study of Spanish language and culture begun in elementary and middle school and increase the study of Spanish literature. Wakefield has been recognized as an International Spanish Academy by the Spanish Embassy in Washington, DC and the Spanish Ministry of Education.

Students who attend Wakefield as part of the Immersion Program and live outside the Wakefield attendance zone are entitled to bus transportation.

Currently, the Immersion program offers the following:

  • Courses in Spanish:
    • Spanish Immersion I
    • Spanish Immersion II*
    • Spanish Immersion Intensified Biology
    • AP Spanish Language
    • AP Spanish Literature I
    • AP Spanish Literature II

*Immersion II is open to students in grades 10-12. While AP Spanish Language followed by AP Spanish Literature is the recommended sequence, the Immersion II course offers flexibility in terms of sequencing, meaning that a student could take Spanish Immersion II after having taken one or more AP Spanish classes.

  • Senior Project: Students may opt to do their project partially or entirely in Spanish and/or related to Latin American or Spanish topics. Past topics include: Exploring my Bolivian Heritage, Volunteering at an Orphanage for Special Needs Children in Guatemala, Learning about the Foods of Peru, Understanding the Basque Country, Connecting Language Proficiency with Academic Success, and Creative Outreach of Chilean Underprivileged Athletes.
  • DELE Exam at no cost: The DELE is a test of Spanish proficiency administered by the Spanish Ministry of Education and the Spanish Embassy. The results of the test can be used to partially meet admission requirements to a Spanish university.

Our Spanish program is fresh, dynamic and fun. New manners in which to deliver instruction are being explored, and our faculty offer fantastic course sthat not only develop crucial skills, but also keep up with the demands of a technologically savvy student body. In 2014, freshmen immersion students were presented with a MacBook Air computer which they can use all day in all classes at Wakefield, and then take home to use for homework and personal use during the entire school year. Our Spanish educators use this technology to deliver instruction effectively; For example, Immersion I students actively participate in a secure platform, called Blackboard, where their course work is organized by chapters, homework is done and scored online, group work can be accomplished with wikis, assessments are deployed to targeted groups(differentiating instruction to small groups such as students with special needs) and both synchronous and asynchronous discussions allow the instructor to have a quick glance at the strengths and weaknesses of the student’s written language. Moreover, we have made cross-curricular language support a very important part of the program: The Spanish Immersion Intensified Biology class works closely with the Immersion I class to ensure that the students receive Spanish language support while writing papers and presentations.
How are we effective?

  • Students who have completed the immersion program Wakefield graduate being bilingual and biliterate in both English and Spanish.
  • Our school has an integrated curriculum that prepares the students to participate in international programs to complete higher education degrees.
  • Students take three rigorous Spanish Advanced Placement classes before graduating. Last year, 90% of the students passed the AP exams.
  • Our students perform successfully in all subjects of the curriculum: nearly half of the incoming freshmen immersion students have been identified as Gifted and Talented, and 50% made School and/or Principal’s Honor Roll this year demonstrating the cognitive development and higher-level thinking achieved through bilingualism.
  • Ninety nine percent of our student passed the DELE test in 2014.
  • Immersion students become members of the Spanish Honor Society,engaging in volunteer work and tutoring novice Spanish students.
  • Our students can express themselves and effectively communicate in English and Spanish in their personal relationships and in an academic setting,allowing for a greater perspective of Spanish culture.
  • Graduating seniors receive a Certificate of Excellence awarded by the Embassy of Spain.

Questions about the Spanish Immersion Program can be directed to Dr. Willmore at 703-228-6705 or by email: