HISD is expanding its successful dual language program to 21 more campuses in 2015–2016, launching thousands of additional pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students on the road to learning a second language. Currently, 31 HISD schools offer a Spanish dual language program.
Starting in August, kindergarten students — and pre-kindergarten students, at some schools — will be learning in both English and Spanish. One grade will be added to the program each year until it reaches school-wide.
In the dual language model, students take their core instruction in both languages, with English Language Learners acquiring the skills they need for success in schools, and native English speakers becoming bilingual and biliterate. Dual language schools also promote biculturalism through consistent exposure to customs, traditions, and unique traits of other nations and peoples.
All of this takes place while students are maintaining the same rigor in their academics and core subjects such as reading, writing, math, science, and social studies. There’s no loss of the native language: students retain their first language while acquiring a valuable second language.
Becoming bilingual and bicultural is an important part of receiving a global education, which students need if they are to compete and succeed in a 21st century global society. Research shows that students who learn new languages reap long-term academic and social benefits. Learning a new language improves students’ analytical skills and enhances their memory and creativity. It also helps students gain a more profound understanding of their own culture and develop a more positive attitude toward other cultures. Speaking more than one language also makes students more valuable in the workplace.
The new HISD dual language schools are:
|Laurenzo Early Childhood Center||Highland Heights ES|
|Browning ES||Hobby ES|
|Burrus ES||Love ES|
|Cage ES||Mading ES|
|Condit ES||C. Martinez ES|
|Davila ES||Patterson ES|
|De Zavala ES||Robinson ES|
|Durham ES||Roosevelt ES|
|Elrod ES||Scarborough ES|
|Franklin ES||Wainwright ES|
|J. R. Harris ES|
For more information, please see the HISD Bilingual/ESL webpage.
I enrolled my granddaughter in bilingual class as a pre-kindergarten student. She is currently in the third grade and we have not been able to enroll in a dual language school. Is there anything available for a fourth grade student?
Good morning, Mr. Hyson. I checked with the Multilingual department and they said it depends. If your granddaughter is an English language learner, she is qualified for bilingual programs and can enroll in any dual language school offering the program at the fourth-grade level. However, if English is her primary language and she has not been in a dual-language environment since pre-K, then it is probably too late for her to enroll in a dual language program, as the high level of Spanish proficiency expected at that grade level would preclude it. If you still have questions or need additional information, please contact the Multilingual department at 713-556-6961.