Dual Language Program
ALL Students Can Master 2 Languages
(Graduate Bilingual & Biliterate)
What is the PSJA Dual Language Program?
First started in 1995, our PSJA 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.
Currently there are more than 14,000 elementary, middle school, and high school students in the Program.
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.
PSJA ISD Seal of Biliteracy
Certifies students as bilingual and biliterate. PSJA ISD is the only district in
the Rio Grande Valley to offer this Seal to graduates.
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 at select schools.
PSJA ISD selected to pilot new statewide Dual Language initiative
As a pioneer of dual language education, PSJA ISD is proud to be among few school districts selected to be part of the first-ever statewide Dual Language initiative, Texas Effective Dual Language Framework, first launched during the 2021-2022 school year by the Texas Education Agency (TEA).
The key goals of the new statewide dual language initiative include increasing effectiveness, increasing the number of dual language Pre-Kinder through 12th grade programs across the state, and reflecting on student outcomes of biliteracy, bilingualism, academic achievement in both languages and social cultural competence growth.
“In the RGV, most school districts offer dual language mostly up to middle school, but at PSJA ISD our program is available all the way through high school to make sure students continue to develop cognitively, linguistically, and academically in both languages. Another aspect of our program is the social cultural component to really help our students understand their roots, identity, language and history and why it’s important,” - PSJA Dual Language Director Olivia Martinez.
Read the full news article.