The dual language program follows the 50/50 dual immersion model, organizing homerooms into pairs, with one teacher offering instruction in English and one in Spanish. English and Spanish teachers deliver the same lessons each day, while the students rotate between the other classroom, using what they learned in one language to apply that to the next day’s lessons in the other language.
The long-term program goals of all DCPS Dual Language education programs are:
High Academic Achievement
Cultural Awareness & Appreciation
To help students reach this goal, they are immersed equally in both languages in all content areas starting in Head Start or Pre-Kindergarten and moving through the 5th Grade. The dual language program follows the 50/50 dual immersion model, organizing homerooms into pairs, with one teacher offering instruction in English and one in Spanish. English and Spanish teachers deliver the same lessons each day, while the students rotate between the other classroom, using what they learned in one language to apply that to the next day’s lessons in the other language.
The Benefits of Bilingual Education
Research has shown the that bilingual children:
Show increased mental flexibility and stronger problem solving skills
Are more willing and able to learn a 3rd language
Maintain a strong sense of their own identity while developing sensitivity towards other cultures
Get a head start in competition for universities and jobs in a global economy
Continuing Program Development and District-Wide Recognition
BMPV’s acclaimed bilingual immersion program was developed from the ground up through years of targeted, collaborative effort by our committed professional team. The inception of the dual language program six years ago was based on a vision for instruction that would cater to the strengths of our growing English Language Learner (ELL) population. A dual language committee was formed entirely of BMPV faculty tasked with creating a model that would maximize instructional time in both English and Spanish languages. Through dedicated research, hands-on experience, and collaboration with the National Association of Bilingual Education, the DCPS Office of Bilingual Education (OBE), and the guidance of Stephen Krashen, BMPV has developed a program that is vertically aligned and implemented from grades HeadStart to 5th Grade.
Frequently Asked Questions about Dual Language Education
My child doesn’t speak Spanish. How will s/he understand? Dual language teachers are trained as both subject area and language teachers and help make lessons understandable by using hands-on learning, visual supports, interactive activities and by teaching subject areas thematically.
We don’t speak Spanish at home. Is that a problem? It is not necessary for the new language to be used at home. Dual language teaching teams work together to make sure that your child is developing both their first and second languages from the early childhood grades and on.
How long will it take my child to learn Spanish/English? Although your child may begin speaking and understanding their new language within a couple of years, research has shown that it can take 4—7 years for students to develop full proficiency. This program requires a long term commitment from parents!
Will learning in two languages affect my child’s test scores? No, with your support at home your child should be able to do as well as peers in English-only classrooms and studies have shown that bilingual children often outperform their monolingual peers in time.
Can my child start the Dual Language program at any age? Yes, your child can start at any age. However, it is recommended that children enter the dual language program no later than 1st grade to maximize the benefits of the program by building language skills in the early grades.