San Elizario ISD launches Dual Language Programs - ¡Si Señor!
The San Elizario Independent School District is excited and committed to provide the best educational options to students. Despite the pandemic, the San Elizario ISD launched its first-ever dual language education program this school year. The program is now available for students in Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten. Each year the program will grow. The district will be adding the program to both first and second grade next school year. The goal is to have students take advantage of dual-language classes up to their twelfth-grade year. Mrs. Sandra Rico, Bilingual Instructional Officer, states, "The Dual Language Program has many benefits. Our students develop the ability to read and write in another language, in addition to being able to listen and speak it, which is beneficial on the border."
Dual-language education is the best educational model to produce graduates, who speak two languages, but read and write at grade level (or above) in Spanish and English. Ms. Diana Berumen, a Pre-K teacher at Loya Primary, says, "The academic growth that students are demonstrating both in English and Spanish has been phenomenal." This program takes advantage of children's natural language learning abilities. Instead of teaching a language, we teach through language. Ms. Berumen added, "Students are taking the initiative to have conversations in English and Spanish, not only in Spanish."
Teachers use special techniques called Sheltered Instruction to help those children who are working in their second language. Every teacher must follow the curriculum guidelines for every subject as set forth by the state of Texas. The only difference is that the teacher and students are doing all of this in two languages. Also, the dual-language includes unique features. Students immersed in both languages; 50% English/50% Spanish instruction will take place, as they study the same subjects as other students. The teacher does not translate for the students. Children have a natural language-learning capacity, and using a second language to learn at school is a natural way to pick up that language.
Finally, students will need the full support of their families to succeed. Dual-language is a challenging program, but the family does not have to be bilingual. Mariana Molina, a parent at Loya Primary, states, "The dual-language program is important because we are on the border where two languages are equally spoken. In my son's case, his grandparents only speak Spanish, and he needs English to understand when other people speak to him in the language." In San Elizario ISD, we expect all students, families, and teachers to work together to help students experience school success.
If you are interested to learn more about our dual language program or wish to enroll your child into the program, please contact Ms. Susana Frescas, Coordinator of Instructional Programs, at 915-872-3900.
Pictured left to right: Violet Martinez, Rubi Cicero