What is the PSJA Dual Language Program?
PSJA’s Dual Language Enrichment Program is an academic experience designed for students to develop stronger cognitive and academic skills through the development of on-level bilingualism and biliteracy.
Through a rigorous curriculum, students who participate in the program are academically instructed in English and Spanish, from Pre-Kinder to 12th grade. As a result, students have the opportunity to master both languages and enhance their education by developing the ability to fluently speak, read, write, and think critically in English and Spanish, which allows them to compete successfully in a global economy.
Why should my child participate?
Research has shown that students who receive Dual Language instruction can gain positive cognitive effects.
When students develop literacy in two languages, their brain develops differently, in a positive way. Students who can fluently speak, read and write in two languages display greater mental flexibility and a greater ability to think abstractly and form concepts.
Dual Language students also stand out academically to universities across the nation. Showing proficiency in two languages at a high academic level is an attractive characteristic for college admissions. Since Spanish is the second most spoken language in the U.S. and third in the world, having on-level proficiency in Spanish also increases our student’s workforce value and marketability.
PSJA Dual Language graduates receive an additional seal on their diploma. They have the PSJA Seal of Biliteracy that officially certifies that the student is bilingual and bi-literate. Only one other school district in Texas offers a Biliteracy Seal to their students. Employers and education institutions recognize and validate PSJA’s Biliteracy Seal.
Is Dual Language the same as bilingual?
No. Dual Language Education is not the same. Bilingual Education is a remedial program exclusively for students whose first language is not English. The goal is just English language development and not biliteracy.
Dual Language Education is an enrichment program geared towards all students (both native English Speakers and native Spanish Speakers) that considers both languages equally valuable and important to develop academically.
PSJA’s Dual Language Enrichment Program expects students to maintain higher levels of academic achievement and behavior. At the middle school and high school level, students are expected to participate successfully in college-level courses delivered in Spanish.
What languages can my child learn at PSJA ISD?
Did you know? Recent studies show that English, Spanish, Mandarin, and Arabic languages are not only among the top spoken in the world, but also the ones with the highest business demand.
Students who participate in our PSJA Dual Language Enrichment Program are academically instructed in English and Spanish, from Pre-Kinder to 12th grade. In addition, they can also learn a third language such as Mandarin Chinese or Arabic at select schools.
Arabic classes will be offered in Alamo during the 2019-2020 school year through a State Department Program. In addition, PSJA ISD also offers Mandarin Chinese classes to students in the PSJA Southwest ECHS feeder pattern in South Pharr thanks to three teachers from China hired through the Chinese Guest Teacher Program. The school district hopes to expand this Mandarin Chinese program to more schools during the 2019-2020 school year.
The following schools currently offer Mandarin Chinese for students: Palacios Elementary, Garcia Elementary, Liberty Middle School, Kennedy Middle School, and PSJA Southwest Early College High School. As of the 2019-2020 school year, the following schools will be added to the program: Anaya Elementary, Chavez Elementary, Escobar Elementary, and Palmer Elementary.