Olá is a two-way Portuguese–English bilingual immersion program located at the King Open School. Olá follows the district’s curriculum and students learn the content in English and in Portuguese daily.
Developing the ability to read, speak, and write in a new language is a source of great pride for our Olá students. In the beginning, they rely heavily on pictures and body language to understand what their teachers are telling them. Through songs, games, and positive interactions in the classroom they rapidly develop skills in both languages.
Olá teachers cover the same curriculum as the rest of the King Open School, and students are a welcome part of the wider school community. Hands-on projects are integrated into the curriculum of each grade level, and field trips connect students to the rich local Portuguese-speaking community.
- Over 220 million speakers worldwide and the 7th largest language in the world. Third largest language in Massachusetts.
- An official language of the EU, and the language of Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, and São Tomé & Príncipe.
- Students who speak Portuguese can generally understand and learn Spanish with little difficulty.
- Named a Critical Language, prioritized in hiring by the U.S. government.
- Most Effective Form of Language Study:
Second only to spending years in another country, immersion is the most successful way for students to master a new language.
- Academic Achievement:
Research suggests that immersion students develop a greater ability to think critically and flexibly, improve their memory and problem-solving skills, and score as well or better on standardized tests.
- Becoming Global Citizens:
There is no substitute for learning deeply about another language and the cultures where it is spoken. Immersion students build a strong sense of themselves as citizens of a diverse and fascinating world.
- College and Career:
Bilingualism sets students apart on their college applications. As the U.S. becomes more diverse and more reliant on international relations, the demand for bilingual employees will grow even stronger.
- Olá Committee: Currently chaired by Ana Poblacion and Anil Mundra
- Visit King Open’s website for their discussion of the Olá Program
- Read these great articles about why the Olá Program may be perfect for you and your family:
- “Why Bilinguals Are Smarter” by Yudhijit Bhattacharjee (New York Times)
- “Bilingual Children Are, In Fact, Smarter Than Other Children” (Huffington Post)
- “Bilingual Brains – Smarter & Faster” by Judy Willis M.D., M.Ed. (Psychology Today)
- “In a global economy, Mass. lags in teaching foreign languages” by James Vaznis (Boston Globe)