Korean Immersion Program (KIP)


Why Consider Language Immersion?

Korean/English Two-Way Immersion is an educational program for grades K-8 designed to help students develop the ability to speak, read and write in two languages at the same time.

Language learning is integrated into every part of the curriculum - math, science and art as well as reading and writing. Children become fluent and literate in both languages in a dynamic learning environment while developing skills for participating in a culturally and linguistically diverse world.

For children who speak Korean at home, maintaining the Korean language provides a good academic foundation.  They learn subjects such as science, math and social studies in their home language while they are developing language skills in English.

For children who speak English at home, immersion education is a chance to learn a second language at an early age while also learning about another culture.

Students give up nothing for the added benefit of language and cultural literacy; they are studying the core curriculum required by the State of California. KIP is also totally integrated into the Claire Lilienthal environment. We participate in all aspects of the school, including the PTA, School Site Council and field trips.

How Does the Program Work?

At Claire Lilienthal, we have one KIP classroom each for grades K-3 and a combined 4th/5th grade class.  When Children enter KIP, most of the instruction is in Korean.  Each year, the percentage of instruction in English increases.  By grade 5, children can communicate effectively in Korean and English and have fulfilled all the requirements for promotion to middle school.  In middle school, KIP students continue immersion in the two languages in at least two classes, usually math and a Korean language elective.

For more information about KIP:

School tours are offered each fall for families with children starting kindergarten the following September. School tours will be posted on this site as soon as they are available.

History and Goals

Two-way Immersion programs were started more than 20 years ago in Canada. Since then, 18 states have developed such programs with California taking the lead. Districts in California with Two-way Immersion programs include Alum Rock, Barstow, Cabrillo, Capistrano, Culver City, Davis, Healdsburg, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Pomona, Redwood City, Saddleback, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Monica-Malibu, Valley Center, Windsor, and Woodland.

Harvard University, UCLA, and several leading universities in Canada have done research showing that children in Two-way Immersion programs improve their primary and secondary language proficiency, develop greater capacity for abstract thought, and enhance their overall academic achievement. The supportive relationship among parents, teachers, and administrators is one of the key factors in the programs' continuing success.

SFUSD Korean/English Two-way Immersion was started in September 1994 by a group of parents, educators, and advocates wanted to bring the benefits of two-way immersion to the Korean community in San Francisco.

The goals of the program are to:

  • develop strong English language skills (reading, writing and speaking)
  • develop strong Korean language skills (reading, writing and speaking)
  • meetall the SFUSD core curriculum requirements
  • foster an appreciation for both languages and cultures
  • promote high levels of self esteem and positive cross-cultural attitudes


Please click on the link below to download the school's Korean Immersion Handbook, in pdf. format. In order to open and read either file, please use Adobe's Reader or Apple's Preview applications.

Korean Immersion Handbook (2015 edition)

Resource Guide

Where can I buy Korean groceries and prepared food?

  • Seoul Market/First Korean Market, Richmond District: 4625 Geary Blvd. between 10th and 11th Avenues, 415.221.2565

Seoul Market has all the basics, from regular grocery items, housewares, frozen foods and fresh produce. They also have a wide selection of prepared foods (bulgogi, kalbi, sesame chicken, and lots of homemade kimchi, pickles and side dishes. At the front of the store, they have an assortment of cheon (little pancakes) made fresh, kimbap, japchae, korean fried chicken, and other specialties.

  • Woo Ri Market, Fillmore District: 1528 Fillmore Street, at O'Farrell Street, 415.673.9888

Woori Market is small but has all the basic Korean groceries, plus marinated meats, kimchi, pickles and lots of take-out food (japchae, kimbap, fried chicken) and lots more.

  • Kukje Market, Daly City: 2350 Junipero Serra Blvd. (near the Daly City civic center), 650.992.0333

Kukje Market is huge, compared to the local markets in the city. You'll find groceries, frozen foods, lots of fresh produce, a very big housewares department, meats and a very big deli with lots of ready to eat items. Even video rentals. Kukje also has a customer loyalty program, so if you are going to shop there regularly, be sure to ask to join their "club". You'll get price discounts and other perks. Kukje also has a larger selection of soju than the other local markets.


San Francisco Korean Immersion Education Alliance, Inc. (SFKIEA) is a non-profit corporation established by a group of Claire Lilienthal parents to better support the Korean Immersion Program at the school. Among other things, SFKIEA has advocated for better funding and support for the program, and seeks to identify and secure additional financial support for Korean language education at our school. 

Please visit the SFKIEA website to learn more about how you can support Korean language education at Claire Lilienthal.

San Francisco Korean Immersion Education Alliance, Inc.

샌프란시스코 한국어 이멀지언 교육 연합체

360 Ritch St. #201
San Francisco, CA 94107