Introducing the Dual Language Program to new parents


A. Jorgensen

Ally Jorgensen

On Monday, Feb. 24, a Dual Language Program meeting was held at Leggee Elementary School. 

Assistant Superintendent, Rocio Del Castillo started the meeting off by welcoming the parents and beginning to explain their program. 

She explained that the program was a five year commitment. Students would start this program in kindergarten and go all through fifth grade. In kindergarten, English-speaking children will start with 80% Spanish and 20% English, 70% Spanish and 30% English in first grade, 60% Spanish and 40% English in second grade, and finally 50% Spanish and 50% English in third, fourth, and fifth grade. Spanish-speaking children will have the same, but flipped.

She also explained that the classes would be half English speakers and half Spanish speakers. 

“50% of the students are English language speakers and 50% are Spanish language speakers. They are teaching the other language to the other group, but they are also learning,” Castillo said. 

One of the big things that they are focusing on is learning the languages by association with color, objects, and movements. 

Some of their learning strategies include: Total Physical Response, images, cognates, songs, chants, read aloud, partner talk, picture walk, sentence prompts, and contrastive analysis of language or “The Bridge.” 

The bridge is essentially the connection of concepts between English and Spanish. This is part of the biliteracy unit framework. Each unit is composed of six stages. These six stages include: building background and oracy, reading comprehension, writing process, world study, the bridge, and extension.   

“Each part provides integral skills and information that lead to the development of biliterate students. The goal of the framework and the integrated units is for students to acquire listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in two languages across continent areas,” read the power point presentation. 

You can learn more by attending the last meeting at Mackeben Elementary School on March 18th.