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HISD adding 21 campuses to dual language program in 2015–2016

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.

Click here to find a list of the dual language schools.