We serve as the transitional bilingual cluster in our area and began phasing in the Dual Language Program during the 2019-2020, school year.
Transitional Bilingual Program
We are the bilingual cluster for students who qualify for bilingual services and live in the Myers, Raba, Carlos Coon, and Evers attendance zones.
The Transitional Bilingual Program is a researched-based program for students whose primary language is Spanish and are considered English Learners (ELs). Students are taught the state required Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) by using their primary language for instruction as they learn English and achieve academic success. Research indicates that using the primary language as a means of academic instruction supports transition into the second language. Concepts and skills transfer from one language to the other. Strong primary language development helps students learn English. Students are placed in classrooms with certified bilingual teachers who are specially trained to teach students who are learning English.
Two-Way Dual Language Immersion Program
The Two-way Dual Language Immersion Program is researched-based and seeks to create bilingual, biliterate, and bicultural students by developing their academic proficiency in English and Spanish. This program serves English learners (ELs) and Non-English learners. Students begin the program in Kindergarten and parents are expected to make a 5-6 year commitment.
Typically classes are made up of 50% ELs and 50% Non-ELs. We follow the 90/10 model, which means 90% of instruction is in Spanish and 10% is in English in Kindergarten and 1st grade. Each year the amount of Spanish decreases while the amount of English increases until 50/50 (50% Spanish, 50% English) is reached in 4th and 5th grades. For ELs, this means they are allowed to maintain their native language and develop necessary literacy skills in their first language. For Non-ELs,this is essentially a Spanish immersion program. The advantage for both groups of students is that each classroom has both native Spanish speakers and native English speakers as models.
EL students are automatically considered for the program pending space available. A lottery will be held if the number of interested Non-ELs exceeds the available seats based on availability.