Language enrichment programs can have a powerful impact on the academic success of students, so we are approaching the board at the end of the school year to be proactive in communicating that we think it is important for our children to acquire a second language. We would like Humble ISD to use the 2019-2020 school year to plan and prepare for the expansion of more language enrichment programs for second language acquisition to be launched in the Fall of 2020.
We would also like to see Humble ISD vision and mission regarding language enrichment programs being implemented district wide by all Humble ISD staff. Humble ISD administration has stated that enrichment programs are only implemented in a school when the principal requests it. We believe that an awareness campaign for the principals and all teachers would help show them the value in these programs and what it does for their students, which would result in more principals appreciating and requesting the programs and not implemented only in new schools.
According to Humble ISD website, learning other languages and cultures is an important skill for the 21st century. Humbe ISD parents are aware of the benefits of the Dual Language and Spanish Immersion programs and we want more opportunities for our children to obtain the benefits of being 100% bilingual and biliterate.
Research shows that bilingual people have an easier time developing strong thinking skills and using logic, as compared to their non-bilingual peers.
Being bilingual supports children in maintaining strong ties with their family, culture, and community. All of these are key parts of a child's developing identity. Bilingual children are also able to make new friends and create strong relationships using their second language—an important skill in our increasingly diverse society.
One-half to two-thirds of adults around the world speak at least two languages. In today's global society, they have many advantages. Globally, bilingual and biliterate adults have more job opportunities than monolingual adults. Bilingual and biliterate individuals have the opportunity to participate in the global community in more ways, get information from more places, and learn more about people from other cultures.
Currently Humble ISD Language Programs consist of:
Bilingual Late Exit Program: The main purpose of this program is for Spanish speaking students to learn English. Students are taught basic concepts with primary language support as they transition to an all English program. Students in a bilingual education program may exit in grades 2-5 if they demonstrate proficiency in English listening, speaking, reading and writing skills as measured by state-exit criteria.
The down fall is that currently not all children qualify for this program because they do not speak Spanish. This program is a tool to help English language learners succeed in English but does not promote bilingualism. Learning to read and write in Spanish in this program is a consequence but not a goal for language enrichment. Students in this program do not have an opportunity to obtain a Seal of biliteracy.
Two-Way Dual Language Program: is a biliteracy program model that integrates native Spanish speakers and native English speakers in a mixed group setting through literacy in the core content areas. The goal of the Dual Language Program is to help students become bilingual, biliterate and bicultural while promoting high academic achievement. Students in the Dual Language Program develop an appreciation and a cross-cultural understanding of others. The Dual Language Program provides students an opportunity to obtain a Seal of Biliteracy Performance Acknowledgement upon graduation while preparing for college, career and life choices. This program promotes both English and Spanish acquisition equally for language enrichment beneficiating both English and Spanish speaking students to acquire a second language. Research shows in most cases English language learners are more successful long term in the Dual Language program compared to the Bilingual program.
The down fall is that currently this program is only offered at Humble Elementary making transportation logistics an issue for many parents. Therefore, families do not apply.
Spanish Immersion Program (SIP): is a language enrichment program that provides Spanish as a second language instruction to fluent English-speaking students through the core academic content areas. The goal of Spanish Immersion is to provide a rigorous,cross-curricular, second language enrichment program that empowers students' learning and literacy capacity in both languages; build an appreciation of Spanish speaking cultures; and provide an opportunity to obtain a Seal of Biliteracy Performance Acknowledgement upon graduation while preparing for college, career and life choices.
Currently this program is offered at a limited amount at high performing schools, but requires parental commitment in teaching English Language Arts (ELA) at home. However, many parents do not feel comfortable with assuming such commitment because they do not possess a background in teaching ELA. Therefore, they do not apply. The way this program is currently set up limits the diversity in the classroom and limitates opportunities for hispanic and bicultural families to acquire a second language.
Our petitions and expectations:
Offer Dual language in all bilingual schools in the district.
Offer Spanish Immersion Program in more monolingual schools, and include ELA as part of the SIP curriculum starting in 1st grade in a 90/10 model beginning with the Fall Creek community.