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Application Process for Kindergarten 2-Way Dual Language Now Underway

           

            The Two-Way Dual Language application process for incoming kindergartners for the 2021-22 school year will be available through March 26. The application and detailed information on the program offered exclusively at Irving Elementary School can be accessed at  https://www.c-isd.com/Page/1059.

The function and purpose of Two-Way Dual Language is to engage scholars in both English and Spanish, preparing Spanish-speaking English Learners (EL) to immerse in English while providing instruction in the Spanish language for English students. The program is used as an enrichment model, allowing all participants the opportunity to acquire a new language from native speaking peers in developing fluency and literacy in English and Spanish.

Open to all CISD kindergarteners, the program’s core content curriculum provides instruction in math, language arts, science and social studies and is identical to the curriculum in monolingual classes. The language of instruction changes throughout the daily delivery of content as teachers instruct in Spanish one day and in English on another. 

            “This will be our fourth application process, as we enroll new kindergartners for the 2021-22 school year,” Burton said. “This is a wonderful milestone. That very first group of kindergartners and first graders we enrolled in 2018 are now second and third graders. I feel the program has gained the momentum we have worked for in creating awareness of the Two-Way Dual Language instruction available to CISD students.”

            “In that first year, we had to do lots of promotion and presentations because it was a new concept,” Burton said. “Now, I have people emailing me all the time asking about the application process and when it will take place. We hear from excited parents—and that is very exciting to us.”

            Every year since its implementation, Burton has had to conduct a lottery for enrollment into the program, along with a waitlist, due to the number of applications submitted.  

            Zoee Vance is among the kindergartners who entered the Two-Way program this year. Her father, Weslee, who is the choir director at Cleburne High School, said there were numerous reasons he and his wife, Charli, wanted her to receive the dual language method of instruction.

            “First, and foremost, my Spanish experience didn’t begin until I took my first class in high school,” Vance said. “Studies shows the development of language skills begins so much younger than that. In today’s world, there is a need for being bilingual, and we thought that was very important for Zoee. We have already decided we will enroll our two younger children in the program when they start kindergarten.”

            “I also think that while she is only in kindergarten, for Zoee to be doing something like this gives her an actual goal, even at age five,” Vance said. “Students who begin in Two-Way Dual Language and continue with it into middle school will be taking the AP Spanish test as eighth graders, compared to our high school students who take the test as seniors. That’s exciting.”

            Vance said seeing Burton’s own children in the Two-Way program speaks volumes. Her twin daughters are among the third grade participants at Irving.

            “I think seeing the head of our World Languages Department have her children among the Two-Way students says so much,” Vance said. “We also like the fact that Zoee will be growing up with the same cohort of students—and friends—who are fellow Two-Way learners. That’s another positive.”

            The Vance’s have had glimpses of their daughter’s beginning bilingual skills—and are pleased with what they have seen.

            “The program tells parents to reinforce the student’s home language, which is what we do,” Vance said. “But we have heard her count to 20 in Spanish. Not too long ago, we were telling the kids to clean up, and Zoee kept saying “limpia, limpia,” which is the word for clean in Spanish. We can tell from what she is bringing home, that she is learning Spanish at school. The language is being taught and spoken.”

Cutline

Two-Way Dual Language kindergarten students Zoee Vance, left and Aiden Bailon work together on their reading skills—in Spanish. The application window for enrollment in the 2021-22 program will be open through March 26.