Latino USA

Class of 2030: Dual Language in the South / by Maria Hinojosa | September 6, 2013

Class of 2030: Dual Language in the South

A demographic surge of young Latinos is making their way through school, and by the time they’re out of college, the year will be 2030. In this first installment of our year-long series, Maria Hinojosa talks to teacher Elizabeth Bonitz about how dual language programs have become more popular in her town of Siler City, North Carolina.

Photo courtesy of Flickr

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Sherri says:

Listening to this story, my heart filled with pride for Siler City Elementary School and our community. We are so lucky to have a school filled with true visionaries, like Eliziabeth Bonitz, who see a way to make our world better by lifting up all our children together. We are one of the lucky families that transferred into SCE back in 2009 when our 4th grader started kindergarten. Our first grader is now in her second year as a dual language student. Both of our children love their school and we feel enriched in ways that we never imagined by being members of this community. Forward together, not one step back!

Rhett says:

I enjoyed this episode very much; however, I don’t think Maria’s definition of Dual Language is accurate. Maria defined it as a program where about half the students are dominant in one language and the other half in another language. The Dual Language programs I am familiar with split instruction time between 2 languages regardless of the dominant languages of the students. So there could be a dual language immersion program where all the students are English dominant but still receive half of the instruction in Spanish and the other half in English.

CN says:

Rhett,

Dual language program models vary across schools and districts. The dual language program that Maria is referring to is the two-way dual language, while the one you mentioned is the one-way program. Both are dual language, but they differ in the type of student population they include. One-way dual language programs in which students are English dominant serves mostly as a form of foreign language education. And those in which all students are say, Spanish speakers, serve as heritage-language programs aiming to support language maintenance. A two-way dual language program serves as both.

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