All About Dual-Language Learning

Kempton Dual Language Academy campus with logo over

March 1, 2023

Meet Janet Josa, Principal of Kempton Literacy Academy

Kempton Literacy Academy Principal Janet Josa has a unique story and journey to becoming a leader in bilingual education. It involves the Panama Canal, a family filled with educators, and the opportunity to bring her experiences, insights, and perspective to Kempton.

“I was born and raised in Central America in the beautiful country of Panama, often referred to as ‘Corazon del mundo’, or The Heart of the World, because of the import-export channel and the canal. It really makes economies around the world go round and I’m really proud to have grown up there.”

A Family Of Educators

“My father’s parents were born and raised in the US in Arizona. My grandfather was an educator and my grandma and her parents were also teachers. My grandfather got an offer to teach in Panama  and they looked at each other and said, ‘let’s do it.’ Neither spoke Spanish at the time, but by the time they retired in the 70s they were both bilingual; they were fully immersed in the country, culture, language, and everything. 

“I moved to the US when I was a senior in high school. Growing up, my first language was Spanish. My mom spoke to me in Spanish, and my dad spoke English. Learning the languages  simultaneously is, I think, what helped me to strengthen both languages.”

Encountering Possibilities & Bilingual Education

“In 2013 my oldest was in first grade. She was in a dual language classroom and I was a pregnant mom volunteering. Whenever the kids would go out to recess the teacher would say, ‘tell me more about your teaching career.’ 

“So I shared with her about my experiences and she said, ‘wait, so you are a credentialed teacher in California and you’re not bilingual credentialed?’ I didn’t fully understand what that meant or what the opportunities might be by getting that credential.

“That teacher encouraged me to pursue a bilingual credential so that I could develop that biliteracy in teaching and promote biliteracy in my community and in the classroom. That was the best move in my career because it allowed me to not hold back who I am in the way I teach. It unlocked my potential as a teacher and a leader to make a larger impact in our community.”

Kempton Literacy Academy students gather for an interactive learning experience

Bilingual Education Delivers For Students

The model Kempton Literacy Academy employs delivers fantastic opportunities for students to not only learn in a bilingual environment but to build skills in collaborating with one another and building strong relationships.

Dual-language learning is a highly sought-after approach that develops unique skills, abilities, and understanding from learners at all age levels. Students benefit from outcomes that include:

Learning collaboration among students that translates into every area of life
• A rigorous academic approach that helps students outperform monolingual programs
• Rich cross-cultural experiences that build an understanding of multiple cultures

Says Principal Janet Josa, “We promote a rigorous academic learning environment in both English and Spanish. During Spanish instructional time, we use the same curriculum as our English counterparts. So we’re not watering anything down here. As a matter of fact, we’re leveling up”

Kempton students collaborate on a project combining history and art

Collaboration & Community

For Principal Josa, seeing students learn and grow in two languages provides a deep and rich environment for learning and building relationships.

“By the time students get to the third grade they’re fully aware and speak both Spanish and English. It’s really neat to see them go from kinder through sixth grade and build these strong relationships like siblings. They learn they can depend on each other to find each other’s strengths and build each other up.”

Not only does this strengthen students’ learning, but it also extends beyond the school grounds. Explains Principal Josa,” it creates a classroom and a school-wide community of awareness of multiple cultures and languages, and an appreciation for our differences, and if we tap into those differences, that’s what makes our community stronger.”

Where To Learn More

For anyone wanting to learn more, Principal Josa offers these steps. “I would encourage parents to check out social media and our school website. I am often posting about the pillars of dual immersion through social media. And if they’re ready for the next step, then reach out to our school, come visit our campus, or call our school office manager to set up a meeting with me.

For more information about Kempton Dual-Language Academy, choose from these links:

KLA Website (schedule a tour of the school)

Instagram @kempton_literacy_academy

Interview with Janet Josa (Apple)

Interview with Janet Josa (Spotify)

Interview with Janet Josa (Website)

Why You'll Love Kempton

  • Serves Students in Preschool to Grade 6
  • Home to a Literacy Program
  • Home to a Dual Immersion Program for Students in Grades K - 5, Seeking to be Bilingual and Bi-literate in English and Spanish
  • Committed to Engaging in Cutting-Edge Literacy Building Practices for our Young Readers

Enroll Today!

School+    District+

District Spotlight

Spotlight on Sweetwater Springs Elementary

Check out our latest Spotlight Story showcasing what makes Sweetwater Springs Elementary so special!


Spotlight on Rolando Elementary

Check out our latest Spotlight Story showcasing what makes Rolando Elementary so special!


Spotlight on Northmont Elementary

Check out our latest Spotlight Story showcasing what makes Northmont Elementary so special!