Dual Language Program at Westside
Westside Elementary houses the district’s Dual Language Program (DLP) on our campus. The DLP program began in 2009, and we currently have approximately 700 students at Westside that are in DLP. DLP is an educational model in which both native English speakers and native Spanish speakers receive instruction together in both languages to promote second language acquisition, high academic achievement, and cross-cultural understanding for all students. Language learning takes place primarily through oral development instruction. Linguistic proficiency in both languages is developed as students develop their knowledge of subject matter through performing academic tasks and learning vocabulary through oral language. The DLP program is our bilingual program, and all our bilingual children that speak native Spanish are in the program.
How does it work?
- If you are interested in having your native English speaker in the program, you will come register for kindergarten at Westside during “Kinder Round Up” in late April. You will come to a mandatory meeting, which explains the program and then we will schedule testing. We will do a computer based IQ test and an academic achievement test in English on letters, sounds, numbers, etc. The results of those tests and the order in which you registered for the program will help us select the students that will make the program. We take approximately 60 native English speakers in kinder every year.
- In kindergarten your child will receive half the day of instruction in English and half the day in Spanish. In 1st grade we begin focusing on oral language development. Students will get one hour of Spanish development and vocabulary development and parts of their math instruction in Spanish. As they advance through the elementary grades they will get more grammar, reading, and writing. At the end of 5th grade they will take a test that consists of written and spoken Spanish, and earn a high school Spanish I credit.
Below are the high school credit earnings the students will be able to receive:
- End of 5th Grade- Spanish I Credit
- End of 6th Grade- Spanish II Credit
- 7th Grade- Spanish III PreAP
- 8th Grade- Spanish III AP (the student will receive HS credit, but also has the opportunity to take the AP test to get college hours)
- DLP students will graduate with a Dual Language endorsement.
More Information on the Program:
- The bilingual teachers only speak Spanish to the students in kindergarten and during targeted oral language time in other grade levels.
- The students (beginning in 1st Grade) receive a daily block of “oral language acquisition” where they participate in activities to speak Spanish.
- The teachers follow a Kindergarten- 5th language curriculum, and the students are evaluated twice a year to measure their oral language progress.
- The bilingual and ESL teachers provide interventions to students if they are not successful in their first or second language.
- Students learn from the teacher and each other. When the instruction is in the student’s native language, he/she is the language expert and will help his/her classmates. When the instruction is in the other language, the student learns from his classmates.