San Marcos - Buda - Kyle Edition | March 2020


101 DUAL LANGUAGE The dual-language program of San Marcos CISD and Hays CISD features: class instruction in both English and Spanish focus on core academic curriculum instruction directed in two languages without use of translation use of a 90/10 or 50/50 model use of interactive and collaborative teaching strategies TO QUALIFY: score procient in preLAS (language assessments system) assessment enter the program in pre-K or kindergarten BENEFITS: create prociency in another


As Hays CISD and San Marcos CISD experience demographic growth, enrollment for its two-way dual-language programs; sees an irregular trend. Since 2015 the number of students enrolled in the two-way dual-language program in HCISD has uctuated, while enrollment numbers for SMCISD have increased since the start of the program in 2017-18.



The number of students enrolled in the program in each district per year.

Other African American Hispanic/Latino White

HAYS CISD 2018-19 2018-19 2017-18 2016-17 2015-16 2014-15 2017-18 2016-17 2015-16 2014-15

HAYS CISD 2019-20 2018-19 2017-18 2016-17 2015-16







language and English create biliterate and bilingual students

SAN MARCOS CISD* 2019-20 2018-19 2017-18




*Approximate number of students provided by SMCISD


curriculum—Texas Essential Knowl- edge and Skills. The only dierence for these students is the language in which they are receiving their instruction. Hays CISD implemented the pro- gram in 2003, and SMCISD adopted the program in 2017. In both districts, native English speakers are learning Spanish because it is the most common lan- guage spoken other than English, and there are enough students for the bilingual program. Breaking down the program The two-way dual-language pro- gram is made up of an even split of monolingual Spanish and monolin- gual English speakers, according to ocials from each district. There are dierent models school districts can follow for the dual-lan- guage programs they implement, depending on the districts’ needs. SMCISD implements a 90/10 model. Students enrolled in this program start with the majority of their classroom instruction taught in Spanish and the ratio gradually works toward an even split, according to Valadez. Students in pre-K and kindergarten start the program by receiving 90% of their instruction in Spanish and the other 10% in English. As students progress to rst grade, their instruction ratio changes to 80% Spanish and 20% English. In second-grade it changes again to 70% Spanish and 30% English, then in

third-grade it becomes 60% Spanish and 40% English. When students enter fourth and fth-grade, they are receiving 50% of their instruction in Spanish and the other half in English. SMCISD has 588 students enrolled in the two-way program from pre-K through third-grade for the 2019-20 school year. The highest class in the program is in third-grade because the district started the program in 2017. The two-way program SMCISD has in place goes up to the fth-grade. SMCISD is working on carrying out the two-way program with its middle school and high school students so they can graduatewith a biliteracy seal on their diploma—a symbol of recogni- tion for students who have attained prociency in two languages. Valadez said the district is work- ing to have the two-way program in place in middle schools by the time the third-graders graduate from ele- mentary school. HCISD implements a 50/50 model. Students in this model, start the pro- gram in kindergarten with 50% of their classroom instruction taught in English and the other half in Span- ish—students follow this instruction ratio until for the life of the program. 575 students are enrolled in two- way and one-way dual-language programs in HCISD—a one-way pro- gram follows the same model as the two-way but it consists of only native Spanish speakers. Like SMCISD, HCISD is exploring

options that would oer students the choice to continue the program inmid- dle school and high school so they can graduate with a biliteracy seal. “It’s our goal to develop bilingual- ism in these children,” Valadez said. “We really have to focus on immers- ing them in the language at school.” Teaching cultural andsocial awareness Valadez said that the value of the program was beyond adding a second language to two dierent sets of stu- dents—it was about allowing them to learn cultural and social awareness. “It’s about the English speaking student beginning to understand the lived experiences of their bilingual partner, but also their families and vise versa,” Valdez said, noting that the program has started a movement in their district to leave language trauma behind and promote a bilin- gual San Marcos. Language trauma according to Valadez is trauma around language, formed from negative experiences inuenced by social, cultural and political challenges. Patricia Melgar-Cook, HCISD direc- tor of bilingual/ESL and migrant programs, said some benets of the program are giving a second language to students but it also teaches soft skills that will help students in their professional and social life. “Students begin to build relation- ships around their language dier- ences,” Valadez said. “That’s a good thing because that has not happened

in our classrooms before.” Knowing the challenges

Melgar-Cook has been leading the two-way dual-language program for three years in her district and said the challenges the program faces are how it can keep up with growth, recruitment and sustainability. “The challenge for us has really been the fast growth, adapting, adjusting to our community as far as how our district is growing,” Mel- gar-Cook said. As it stands, HCISD has not expe- rienced diculty recruiting bilingual certied teachers for the program, according to Melgar-Cook. SMCISD has not faced a shortage of bilingual teachers for its program so far but Valadez foresees that becom- ing an issue as the program grows. “There’s still remanence of lan- guage trauma around,” Valadez said, noting that some parents did not want to participate in the program because they only want their chil- dren to learn English. Valadez emphasized bilingual edu- cation was only oered to Spanish speakers in the past and was intended to transition students to English, but that the district has changed its course. “Dual language is seen as an addi- tive model because it adds a language instead of subtracting a language,” Valadez said. “We really have to focus on immersing them in the language at school.”



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