What is the purpose of the Dual Language Program in the Austin ISD?

The purpose of the Dual Language Program is to foster the development of bilingualism, biculturalism, and bi-literacy, so that students will graduate ready for college, career, and life in a globally competitive economy.

Whom does the Dual Language Program serve?

Austin ISD offers the One-Way Dual Language Program to students who use a language other than English at home and qualify for services based on an English language assessment; and the Two Way Dual Language program to English native speakers who qualify based on parental request.

How will the Dual Language Program help my child?

The Dual Language Program helps your child by:
• including components and activities that enhance the academic and linguistic development of the child’s first language while acquiring a second language.
• supporting students by developing literacy in their native language while attaining academic proficiency in their second language through subject area content.
• providing access to the state curriculum from the first day of enrollment in Austin ISD in the child’s first or primary language.
• learning English from day one using appropriate methods.
• developing self-assurance, confidence and pride in the home language and culture.

Doesn’t it make more sense to start teaching my child in English from the very beginning, rather than using the home language?

• The primary advantage is that the child’s cognitive development as it relates to the knowledge and skills in language arts, reading, mathematics, science and social studies starts from the very beginning and does not have to be delayed until English is learned.
• Research findings support the notion that the stronger the home language, the better the cognitive, linguistic, and academic foundations for learning English is for the learner.
• Our goal is to continue to develop the child’s home language throughout the elementary school grades.

Will my child be taught the same subjects and learn the same skills as students in the regular program?

• All students in Dual Language Program must receive instruction in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) in English and Spanish using the appropriate strategies and methodologies.
• Language arts, reading, mathematics, science and social studies are integral parts of the state mandated curriculum.
• Music, physical education, health and art are all parts of the balanced curriculum that children in the program are required to receive.
• The students will become bi-literate and therefore will read and write at grade level in both languages.

How is Dual Language different from English Language Arts?

• Dual Language instruction focuses on learning English for effective participation in other classes.
• State-adopted materials in all core subject areas are provided to help students learn through research-based methods.
• Dual Language is designed to expand students’ existing command of English and Spanish and other languages.
• Dual Language instruction is rigorous and integrates English Language Arts in all core subject areas.

Will my child learn English?

• Oral English language begins from the first day of school with content subjects like Mathematics taught in English throughout the grade levels.
• By second grade the student will receive 50% of the instruction in English and 50% in the primary language. Findings indicate that the home language is the number one predictor for high academic success in English.
• Mastery of English listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills is a requirement of the program. These skills are taught explicitly since the learning of English is one of the primary goals of the Dual Language Program.
• The Dual Language Program enables students to develop both their English language to higher levels of proficiency and literacy skills.

Who is responsible for teaching in the Dual Language Program?

• Dual Language teachers are trained in instructional methods for teaching English as a second language. They are specially trained in the Dual Language Program and the instructional design to meet the special language needs of their students.

How can parents become involved in the Dual Language Program?

• By approving for their child to participate in the Dual Language program.
• By providing full term commitment to the program.
• By becoming members of the Language Proficiency Assessment Committee (LPAC).
• By becoming members of the English Language Learners Community Advisory Council (ELLCAC).

All children in the Dual Language Program experience standards-based curriculum and instruction.