CharterNation

The voice of California’s charter school movement

What are dual-language schools?

By Vanessa Alessi

Part of what makes California such a dynamic and exciting place to live is its diversity.  Linguistically, it’s the most diverse in the nation. According to the Los Angeles Times, over 220 languages are spoken in our state!  

While improving English proficiency is still an issue across California, 44% of residents say they speak a language other than English at home, and seven million Californians say they can’t speak English well. For students who are sometimes the only English speaker in a family, holding on to their native language is just as important. 

Enter charter public schools. Charter schools are providing dual language or language immersion programs where students can change languages every time the bell rings.

Dual language or language immersion programs are schools where students learn in English and a second language, like Spanish or Vietnamese. The amount in which they learn in each language is different at each school, and while students might learn math in Spanish, they are still held to the same standard of proficiency required by California law.

Check out EJE Middle School, one of our 2018 Hart Vision Award winners. This dual-language school is meeting academic standards in both English and Spanish, and students are thriving! ¡Que orgullo!

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