Buddy West Elementary is taking a different approach to bilingual education by using a one-way dual language approach. Along with West, Zavala and Carver Early Education Center are participating as pilot schools.
Principal Gisela Davila said West is starting with kindergarten and first grade this year, adding a grade every year. Teachers will undergo training regularly and plans are to attend La Cosecha, a dual language conference in Santa Fe, N.M., in November.
With the traditional bilingual program, the first language, which is usually Spanish, decreases as the students move up in grade and English increases, Davila said. With dual language one-way, she said, it always stays 50-50 so their instruction is offered 50 percent in English and 50 percent in Spanish all the way through fifth grade.
By Ruth Campbell
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