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Dual Language Program

 
 

OVERVIEW

The Dual Language Program was first implemented in the Freeport School District during the 1993-94 school year. The district was looking for a way to educate English Language Learners in an innovative, integrated learning environment. Classes composed of both native speakers of English and Spanish, with both groups of students learning in two languages seemed like an exciting design for our program. Our experience has been rewarding, educationally, culturally and socially.
 
 

PROGRAM GOALS

• To promote educational excellence for all students
To provide instruction designed to help students demonstrate mastery in core subject areas as set by New York State Learning Standards
To promote English-Spanish proficiency for all participating students
To increase participation of parents in the educational process
To increase the understanding between two linguistic communities and to work together toward a common goal


PROGRAM DESIGN

Our Dual Language Program, also known as  Two-Way Bilingual Education, teams two teachers, one of them bilingual, at each grade level, Kindergarten through grade 6, to provide instruction in core curriculum areas and language arts in English and Spanish. 
 
These teams of teachers coordinate instruction in both languages, increasing the use of the second language as students progress through the grade levels.

 

PROGRAM SITES

The program begins at the Columbus Avenue Early Childhood Center with Kindergarten Dual Language classes. Students are introduced to their second language through classroom routines, thematic units and songs while also learning in their native language.

The program continues into grades 1-4  and is offered at all four Magnet Elementary Schools - the Leo F. Giblyn School, the Bayview Avenue School, the Archer Street School and the New Visions School. Instruction continues in both languages and use of the second language increases. Both groups of students are held to the same high academic standards.
 
The program culminates at the Caroline G. Atkinson School, where students in grades 5 and 6 refine their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills in their second language. All the while, students study the required NYS Curriculum in all the core subject areas.

 

PROGRAM COMPONENTS

The program has an instructional component, a parental component and a staff development component.
 
The instructional component reflects grade level curriculum objectives that are aligned with the NYS Learning Standards.
 
Through the parental component, parents are encouraged to take an active role in the educational process. Many volunteer in our classrooms, participate in conferences with our teachers throughout the school year and get involved in special events.
 
Our program teachers participate in staff development activities throughout the school year that are general and specific to the Dual Language Program in nature.

 

THE SELECTION PROCESS

Parents of both groups of children may select the program as they register their children for Kindergarten and Grade 1. If the demand is high, a lottery is conducted and a waiting list is formed. Each year, since the inception of the program, a lottery has been utilized to select participants.

 

Two Way Language Immersion

The educational research on language learning supports that young children both learn and acquire second languages quite naturally. Knowledge of the second language will be formally taught through structured language learning lessons and activities. Other large chunks of vocabulary are learned through context, routines and regular daily activities. Young children are capable of absorbing and producing second language skills which make them better at problem solving and critical thinking skills. 
 
For more information, contact Susan Greca, Director of Second Language Programs, at 867-5233 or by E-mail at sgreca@freeportschools.org