Dallas ISD Dual Language Program Adjustments Poised To Benefit Children Of Immigrant Families

According to a report by the Dallas Morning News from March 15, 2021, the Dallas Independent School District (ISD) is revitalizing its dual language program by introducing newcomer centers.

A newcomer center is a “school-within-a-school” that is aimed at those high schoolers who are still acclimatizing to their English language instructions. This effort seeks to help recent immigrants who have limited English language skills. The pilot program will benefit around 1600 high school age students to begin with.

Right now, the Dallas Independent School District offers a program targeted only at newcomers at 6 elementary schools. The current program does not serve middle school or high school age students. The revamp of the dual language program seeks to make the program accessible to a wider age group. There is no consensus on the location of the pilot center, but there are talks of establishing at least 5 across the school district. The program will require newcomer students to receive their first two years of high school within the center before returning to the neighborhood campus.

The Dallas Morning News published another article on March 16, 2021, in which they talk about the importance of English proficiency for future success in life. It says that limited English skills make education harder at every grade level. To correct it, the school district has placed an emphasis on bilingual schools and classes in order for students to develop their English language ability. It also says that the program has proven to be especially popular, even with those families that claim English as their native tongue. Controlled studies have shown that dual language schools give students a chance to expand and broaden their academic and future professional horizons. Students who study an extra language have increased cognitive abilities according to a study in the 1960s by Elizabeth Peal and Wallace Lambert at McGill University in Montreal. In addition, the same study found that bilingual children show advantages in metalinguistic awareness.

The Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys law firm in the Dallas/Fort Worth area has been tracking the developments from the Dallas Independent School District. It posted a blog that talks about the enhancements to the dual language program to draw attention to its benefits for the local community. The law firm handles all kinds of case types such as car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck / big rig accidents, wrongful death, medical malpractice, defective products, brain and head injury, construction injury, premises liability, and insurance bad faith claims.

Dallas ISD’s dual language program follows unconventional practices to compel students to learn from each other’s language strengths. One way the dual language program achieves this is by grouping students into bilingual pairs. The pairs work together at designated times to better understand content lessons, learning stations, and/or research centers. Dallas ISD says that these groupings foster accountability, collaboration, and empathy in students.

Dallas ISD’s research-based, standards-aligned instruction allows students to learn at high levels while building global awareness and developing a global perspective, giving them a competitive edge. The district also encourages hands-on, interactive, dual language lessons and activities to keep students engaged. The goal of the program is to deepen the student’s understanding of grade-level skills and concepts.

Parents who wish to enroll their ward in the Dallas ISD’s Elementary Two-Way or the Secondary Dual Language program need to complete an online elementary or secondary application. The applications have to be made by January 31 and the district will notify students of acceptance starting in March. There is no requirement of Spanish-speaking ability to enter the Elementary Two-Way Dual Language Program. However, the Secondary Dual Language Program requires the ability to speak Spanish.

Those who require further help can contact the Dallas ISD at 972-925-6490. Dallas ISD encompasses the cities of Dallas, Cockrell Hill, Seagoville, Addison, Wilmer, and parts of Carrollton, Cedar Hill, DeSoto, Duncanville, Farmers Branch, Garland, Grand Prairie, Highland Park, Hutchins, Lancaster, and Mesquite. The district is the second-largest public school district in the state and the 14th-largest public school district in the nation.


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