New Opportunity for Students to Become Fluent in Spanish by Fifth Grade

New Opportunity for Students to Become Fluent in Spanish by Fifth Grade
Posted on 02/10/2017
dual languageAs the Clear Creek Independent School District continues to flourish, both in student population and innovative instruction, new ways for students to develop their unique talents and skills grow as well. The Dual Language Program in CCISD is one example of this as it expands to a fourth elementary campus next year.

The program, which was previously only offered at Landolt Elementary, McWhirter Elementary, and Stewart Elementary, will now be offered for incoming kindergarten students at Brookwood Elementary for the 2017-2018 school year. Two kindergarten classes at each campus of the four campuses will be open for incoming students.

Dual Language education is a form of bilingual education, which supports students who speak only languages other than English, where both Spanish and English-speaking students share a classroom and receive instruction in both languages. The program’s purpose is that by fifth grade, all students in the Dual Language Program will be bilingual, biliterate, and bicultural.

“Clear Creek ISD’s Dual Language Program, which provides instruction in both English and a second language, is flourishing in our elementary schools,” said Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education Holly Hughes. “As a matter of fact, our first group of Dual Language students within the district are graduating seniors this year. Parents, teachers, and students have found great benefit for both English-language learners (ELLs) and those fluent in English. By expanding the Dual Language Program to additional campuses, we have the opportunity to create a greater number of bilingual and biliterate students than ever before.”

Among some of the benefits, this educational model promotes second-language acquisition, high academic achievement, and cross-cultural understanding for all students. Language learning takes place primarily through content instruction. Linguistic proficiency in both languages occurs as students develop their knowledge of subject matter through performing academic tasks.

It is preferred for students to enter the program beginning in kindergarten, however, exceptions may be made for students in higher grade levels if they have prior dual-language experience outside of a classroom setting and meet the entry criteria.

Applications for the 2017-2018 school year are now available online. Parents will also need to attend an orientation meeting, which will be held at the different campuses in April and May. Students will then be tested in language proficiency to determine if they are qualified for the program. If more students qualify than there is space available in the Dual Language Program, a lottery will be held. Applications must be submitted to campuses by 3:45 p.m. on May 19, 2017. The lottery will take place at 9 a.m. on May 26, 2017.

For more information on the Dual Language Programs at each of the campuses and the procedures for applying, please visit www.ccisd.net/duallanguage.
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