kindergarten classes

Immersion Kindergarten


2017/18 Schedule

Italian immersion kindergarten is now available in NW Portland. The program is located in Friendly House in the Pearl at 1542 NW 14th Ave.  Classes are held Monday through Friday from 8:45 AM – 12:45 PM.  The program is taught by native teachers.

The program is open to children aged 5 years old on or before September 1st.  Early admission is considered on a case-by-case basis to determine readiness.

To schedule a site visit and/or request more information, please email

About the program

Scuola Italiana’s program uses Italian language at least 75% of each school day. About 25% of the time, students and teacher will interact in English.  English is necessary to allow students to fully express themselves and to prepare students to assimilate into any first grade program after kindergarten.

The program will use a Background Integrated approach to tie learning activities together.   The approach allows children to learn in a context that makes sense to them and has been shown to enhance overall student motivation.

Individual lessons will be introduced using proven Italian teaching methods.  For example, art projects may be inspired by the Reggio Emilia, child-led approach, while math lessons will incorporate a range of Montessori-inspired materials specifically designed to improve and foster independence, precision and punctuality as well as to allow students to self-pace learning. Literacy and language exercises will combine Italian methods like the Ferreiro-Teberosky approach, which is based on spontaneous spelling, with the more traditional memorization spelling method.  English language learning will include a combination of phonetics and sight and high frequency word memorization.  A phonetic approach is also used with the Italian language.

Why language immersion?

In an increasingly interconnected world economy, bilingual competency is a necessity.  Being proficient in a foreign language empowers individuals to operate with a broader, world view.  Research shows that students also gain valuable cognitive, academic and employment benefits.

Language immersion programs produce greater levels of language proficiency than traditional foreign language programs.  This is because the second language is acquired in meaningful context as students are taught lessons and perform assignments and activities in the second language.  The language is not the subject of lessons, but the vehicle in which lessons are delivered.

Program Information

Recognizing that children develop at different rates through predictable stages, the kindergarten program strives to meet the unique needs of each child. The program is designed to help each child discover and develop his or her full potential intellectually, socially, physically and emotionally.

The major areas of social development addressed within our program are:

  • the development of self-confidence and a positive self-image;
  • the ability to work cooperatively within a group;
  • the opportunity to make decisions, develop acceptable social behaviors, and share leadership responsibilities; and
  • the ability to develop and maintain peaceful and respectful relationships with peers and adults.

The major academic goals of Kindergarten include:

  • listening and retelling simple narrative stories or informational texts;
  • using descriptive language to explore and explain;
  • recognizing letters and letter-sound matches;
  • writing letters and simple high-frequency words;
  • legibly writing name on a line without error;
  • showing familiarity with rhyming and beginning word sounds;
  • understanding basic concepts of print and reading such as left-to-right and top-to-bottom orientation;
  • matching spoken words to written words;
  • counting, recognizing and writing numbers up to 20 in Italian and up to 100 in English;
  • becoming familiar with the ideas of addition and subtraction;
  • solving simple math facts with the aid of math manipulatives; and
  • recognizing, classifying and sorting objects by size, color, shape and other characteristics.

Need more information?
Please inquire at

More Resources
Studies show that children with proficiency or exposure to a second language at an early age demonstrate superior problem-solving skills and enjoy better school performance.  To learn more about the advantages of learning a second language, please visit these websites: