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April 2009 | Volume 66 | Number 7
Supporting English Language Learners
Verónica López Estrada, Leo Gómez and José Agustín Ruiz-Escalante
Bilingual programs that focus on both English and Spanish keep Latino ELLs bilingual and achieving on grade level.
a first-generation American whose family emigrated from Mexico, attends 2nd grade in a large urban district in Texas. Like many elementary students around the United States, Carlos lives in poverty. His mother stays home during the day caring for his siblings and cooks part-time at a neighborhood restaurant. Carlos's father works as a carpenter on an "as needed" basis. Last year, Mr. and Mrs. Gutierrez, who have limited formal schooling and speak little English, earned a combined income of $17,690 for their family of five.
When Carlos started school, he was identified as limited English proficient. At school, however, Carlos speaks, listens, reads, and writes in both English and Spanish every day. His school offers a dual language bilingual education program that serves both English-dominant and Spanish-dominant speakers. Mathematics has always been taught in English, social studies and science have consistently been taught in Spanish, and language arts has been taught in both English and Spanish. Carlos and his classmates are becoming bilingual and biliterate. When we asked Carlos what he wants to be when he grows up, he replied, "I want to be an architect so I can design tall buildings, and my father will help me build them."
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Copyright © 2009 by Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
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