The Dual Language bilingual program in the Houston Independent School District is a well- researched approach for promoting biliteracy, bilingualism, and biculturalism for students. The underlying goal is to prepare students for the future with abilities to listen, speak, read, and write in two languages, as well as develop an appreciation for different cultures. The Dual Language bilingual program provides children with the opportunity to learn two languages while maintaining high academic standards.
All incoming kindergarten students will have the opportunity to enroll in the Dual Language bilingual program regardless of ethnicity and/or language spoken at home. Once enrolled, students are expected to participate in the program for the duration of their elementary education. Native-Spanish speaking students will be given the opportunity to enroll in the program at any grade level. Non-Spanish speaking students will be given the opportunity to enroll only at the kindergarten (Pre-K where applicable) and first grade levels unless transferring from a Dual Language bilingual program from another district. Bilingual-certified or ESL-certified classroom teachers deliver instruction in two languages with support of other staff. Students may continue their Dual Language education in both Middle and High school by enrolling in one of our secondary Dual Language programs.
HISD recognizes that, in order to successfully compete in a diverse market economy, students must have access to a bilingual and bicultural education. The purpose of the implementation of a consistent world-class Dual Language bilingual program is to graduate students who are fully biliterate. To achieve this overarching goal, district-wide planning and collaboration will result in the following:
- Evolution and alignment of the district’s bilingual program to become a predominantly DualLanguage district
- Consistency of all Dual Language bilingual programs in the district
- Awareness of the benefits of Dual Language instruction provided through community meetingsto all stakeholders
- Inclusion of key district personnel in the planning of the district Dual Language bilingualprogram so that all efforts are aligned, focused, and strategic
- Development of curriculum that will clearly detail lesson expectations and quality resources ofinstructional materials to be used in each content in both English and Spanish
- Consistent Dual Language professional development including short and long term plans for allteachers delivering instruction and administrators overseeing the program
- Creation of the ability for children served in Dual Language bilingual programs to attain andkeep grade-level academic performance and graduate with college credits and with a Seal ofBiliteracy high school diploma distinction