Elementary students eligible for high school credit through dual language program

Dual language programming in Northside ISD is expanding to more campuses, and NISD is holding a series of informational meetings in January and February for anyone wanting to learn more about the program.

Dual language started in NISD with two campuses in 2001 and in the 2019-2020 school year, dual language programming will expand to encompass a total of 16 elementary schools and two middle schools.

The dual language immersion two-way bilingual program model in NISD is research-based. The program serves kindergarten through eighth English learners and non-English learners in a 90/10 format, which means 90 percent of instruction is in Spanish at the kindergarten level and gradually moves to 10 by the end of fifth grade. The composition of the class is 50 percent English learners and 50 percent native English speakers.

In addition, starting with current fourth and fifth graders, students who have been in the dual language program for five consecutive years are potentially eligible to receive one high school credit for foreign language.

“Exciting things are happening in NISD in regards to creating bilingual, biliterate, and bicultural students,” said Victor Raga, director of Bilingual and ESL Education in the district.

“By expanding the offerings, we are able to have the program in at least one elementary school in each of the district’s cluster areas,” Raga said. “This allows us to expose more students to this opportunity in additional areas of the district.”

Informational meetings will be held soon. Click here for meeting schedule. Attendees will receive information about the program, eligibility requirements, benefits, registration process, and commitment required to participate.

“The dual language program is about more than learning a second language,” Raga said. “Research continues to show that students who participate in programs such as these outperform students who don’t.”

During the last decade, multiple research studies have demonstrated the significant cognitive benefits from early language learning, as well as the potential long-term education and career benefits that multilingual students receive. It has also shown a connection between dual language immersion programs and academic success regardless of a students’ native language.

“Besides the academic and higher-level thinking benefits, students also are more culturally aware and sensitive,” Raga added.

To learn more about all Bilingual and ESL programs in Northside, click here.