Goal of the Program
The dual language program offers a school within school approach to second language acquisition education. The goal of the program is to provide students with the opportunity to become fully bilingual by learning, listening, speaking, reading and writing skills in English and the target language. It is suggested that students start participating in the program in Kindergarten. Students who participate in the program will continue in the program at the next grade level the following year.
Benefits of a Dual Language Program
- Students need to meet the demands of today’s global society and economic opportunities.
- Prepares students for college and career readiness.
- Develops higher-order thinking skills as students learn a second language.
- Knowledge learned through one language facilitates acquisition of the second language.
- Responds to parental desire for dual language programs.
- Students’ benefit from cognitive advantages associated with second language acquisition.
- Promotes multicultural awareness and appreciation for other languages and cultures.
- Language is acquired in a sequential and spiral form. The earlier the student is taught a second language, the better their opportunity to become fully bilingual.
- Research shows that it takes five to seven years to acquire academic language. If the student starts learning a second language in high school, it is often too late to become bilingual.
- The knowledge and skills acquired in one language are transferred to the second language.
- Promotes parental choice in their child’s education.
Description of the Program
The BCPS Dual Language Program will begin in Kindergarten or First Grade. Students who participate in the program will continue at the next grade level the following year. Students will learn the second language in context. Language Arts, Social Studies, and Math are taught in English and Spanish.