Dual Language Programa - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Dual Language Programa

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Wichita Falls, Texas - On Thursday afternoon the North Texas Chapter of the American Federation of Teachers held an information session about a new pilot program Wichita Falls Independent School District will be implementing at one of its elementary schools this upcoming fall.

Newschannel 6 attended the event and talked to WFISD Director of Bilingual ESL Department, Margaret Rafter about the program and what it means for students enrolled in it.  

“It's that time our numbers are growing and we need to make children bilingual-literate students," said Rafter.  

A group of 18 kindergarten students attending the new Zundy Elementary School will be able to participate in a dual language program, where students will be taught 50 percent English - 50 percent Spanish.

“In looking not at numbers in Wichita Falls ISD, but looking at numbers across the state of English language learners, it is growing, so the best program to provide to English learning learners is a dual language program."

Rafter said students learning to languages can benefit from so much.

"The biggest advantage is that you have students that are monolingual Spanish speakers and monolingual English speakers in one classroom together, making them bilingual literate children, which of course makes them ready for a global environment-global market,” said Rather.

She said students will not only be more marketable in the global society, but being bilingual can also help them here at home.

“The question has been asked, why Spanish, said Rafter. Well we do live in Texas and that is the language that is prominent in Texas. So that's why we did choose Spanish.

So next time you walk into ‘à la classe,’ you may want to brush up on some Spanish.

WFISD says the program will only be open to kindergarten students who will be attending Zundy Elementary School.

Registration for the program is on a first come, first serve basis. Parents who would like their child to participate in the program must sign a six year agreement and agree to have their child assessed in both English and Spanish.

For more information on the program, visit link.

Jimmie Johnson, Newschannel 6