Finding the path to Dual Language Literacy for Hartford
By Nyesha McCauley
April 11, 2013
There is a renewed interest nationwide in creating dual language or two-way bilingual programs in schools.
In such schools or programs, English language learners and native English speakers share the classroom and learn together in two languages, usually Spanish. All subject areas are taught with the goal for students to be able to speak, write and read in two languages – Bilingual and Biliterate.
For some schools that use this model, like The Amigos School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, it’s also about creating a multicultural community. A place where friendships are built and students work together- share a community.
In Hartford, where Spanish is the second largest language spoken after English, students gradually move away from their native language as they become fluent in English. But as recent research has shown this may not be the best move. One of the many benefits of bilingualism includes increased opportunities in employment and improved thinking and reasoning skills.
Hartford is a city that celebrates different cultures, as evident in our annual parades and other neighborhood events but are we truly multicultural? Are we sharing and learning together for a better community?
Creating a dual language school or program has its challenges, as discovered in a study conducted by the Hartford Public Schools, at the top of the list is finding teachers able to teach in both languages and the costs of materials.
The school district is planning to continue to look into a two-way language program to begin in the 2014-2015 school year but there are many factors to consider. One of them includes you the community and parents, would you like to see a dual language school in Hartford?