Dual language education in Canutillo ISD has gotten the attention of the Texas Education Agency (TEA).
Dr. Barbara Kennedy, TEA Director of English Learner Support, visited Canutillo Elementary School last week to observe how dual language instruction is being delivered in early childhood and throughout elementary levels.
In the Canutillo ISD dual language program, students continue developing their ability to speak their native language while becoming proficient English speakers. Students are exposed to both languages everyday in all their courses like Math, Science, Social Studies, English and Language Arts. Implementing daily instruction in all courses of study reinforces language mastery.
Dr. Kennedy was interested in observing Canutillo Elementary and how the District implements dual language courses in an effective way.
“I am happy to be here in Canutillo,” Dr. Kennedy said. “I’m pleased to see that there is hands-on learning around the instruction and engaging conversation. It looks like it’s fun to be a student here.”
According to Canutillo ISD Academic Language Services Director Maria Silva, the dual language program at CISD is successful due to various factors. She says that there is consistency and fidelity to the dual language program. CISD administrators and Academic Language Services work closely with teachers to monitor, assist and provide guidance to students.
Silva says that teachers are also provided with multiple opportunities to expand their knowledge through continuous professional development. And, networking with other bilingual programs in the region helps to enrich the program.
“Students in the dual language program at Canutillo have been making academic gains on state exams,” Silva said. Comparing the 2017 and 2018 STAAR results for only English learners, Reading increased from 59 to 62, Math from 65 to 78, and Science from 61 to 65 in approaching grade levels.”
Silva added that – in the near future – the program will be expanding to Alderete Middle School so that students can continue to be successful at the next level.
Author: Lhaisha Contreras – Canutillo ISD