The Omaha, Neb., school district is reportedly about to join eight other public school districts in offering dual-language classes in Spanish and English for students from kindergarten through high school.
In dual-language programs, children who are dominant in English and children who are dominant in Spanish--or another language other than English--take classes together in both languages. A July 9 article in the Houston Chronicle tells how the Texas legislature approved a bill to create a six-year pilot project for dual-language programs in 10 Texas school districts.
Because I so frequently read news articles about schools starting up these kinds of programs, I was surprised to learn from a July 9 article in the Omaha World-Herald reporting on the expansion of dual-language classes in Omaha that so few school districts provide dual-language classes for a student’s whole elementary and high school career.
The districts running K-12 dual-language programs in Spanish and English identified by Center for Applied Linguistics and cited in the Omaha newspaper are:
• Anchorage (Alaska) School District
• Arlington (Va.) Public Schools
• Chicago Public Schools
• Framingham (Mass.) Public Schools
• Houston Independent School District
• Saddleback Valley Unified School District; Laguna Hills, Calif.
• Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District; Santa Monica, Calif.
• Ysleta Independent School District; El Paso, Texas
A ninth school system--the San Francisco Unified School District--runs a program in Cantonese and English from kindergarten through high school. If the Center for Applied Linguistics has missed other districts out there offering dual-language classes for the full spectrum of grades, please tell readers and me about them.
See my earlier post summarizing a book about dual-language programs, “Two-Way Vision: How Four Schools Promote Bilingualism.”
A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.