Additional Dual Language Programs

Dual Language Programs Enhance Learning and Student's Future Opportunities
Posted on 10/04/2019
Students in the classroom

After a year of planning, two additional schools in the Palm Beach County School District have begun offering Dual Language programs. At West Gate Elementary and Palm Springs Elementary, students will receive instruction in both English and Spanish, allowing them to develop bilingual proficiency thanks to the Two-Way Immersion program.

This involves taking an additive approach to language instruction versus a subtractive approach. In Two-Way Immersion programs, students spend 50% of their time learning in Spanish and 50% of the time learning in English. They will learn to read, write, and speak in both languages through instruction across various content areas.  

The District’s additive approach ensures that native Spanish speakers maintain and grow their first language while acquiring English as a second language. For native-English speakers, the Two-Way Immersion program offers exposure and subsequent fluency in Spanish, one of the fastest-growing languages in the United States

“We need to prepare our children to be ready to compete in a global society and the workforce when they graduate,” said Lisa Capra, the Dual Language Program Planner in the District’s Multicultural Education department. “Research shows that the best time to acquire a second language with greater ease is in their earlier years. The beauty of our program is that we start them early. In our Two-Way Immersion program, content is taught through language which provides students with a deeper understanding and appreciation of languages and cultures.”

The District’s Two-Way Immersion creates bilingual and bicultural students whose language skills will be a hot commodity in an increasingly globalized society. The program also emphasizes cultural awareness and sensitivity.  

“Parents of students participating in our Dual Language program are excited about this opportunity,” said Dr. Patricia Ordóñez-Feliciano, the principal at West Gate Elementary. “Our first Dual Language Night was September 12 and it was a big success. Parents were able to learn about their role in supporting their students as they become biliterate and bicultural.”

The community can learn more about the schools that offer Dual Language programs at the annual Showcase of Schools event on Tuesday, October 22 in the Expo Center at the South Florida Fairgrounds. 

The event will take place from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., and will feature more than 300 Choice and Career programs. Representatives from each school will be available to answer questions about the educational opportunities offered at their schools.

Students in a classroom 

Student doing homework
The School District of Palm Beach County