Posted Date: 04/09/2019
Studies on dual language education is clear in that the more consistent the components of a model are executed, the higher the student's overall academic success.
For La Joya ISD, the implementation journey of the DLI program began in 2007 with two years of researching different models, to then determine which model best met the district’s needs. The Gómez & Gómez One-Way Dual Language Enrichment (DLE) Program(the chosen model currently in place) ensures the long-term achievement for all bilingual learners in the district and was launched in 2009-2010 with all PK -1stgrade classrooms.
“Our district’s mission is to encourage students to take advantage of the opportunities being provided, which in turn, will enable them to become productive and useful members of society,” stated Irma Zuñiga, LJISD Bilingual/ESL Education Director.
This year, 19 La Joya ISD elementary schools met theGómez & Gómez DLE model standards by demonstrating classroom environmentswhere DLE instruction was interactive and challenging, and meaningful efforts to be consistent and implement with fidelity were evident.
•Eloida R. Chapa Elementary
•Americo Paredes Elementary
•Rosendo Benavides Elementary
•Jose De Escandon Elementary
•William J. Clinton Elementary
•John F. Kennedy Elementary
•Lloyd M. Bentsen Elementary
•Leo J. Leo Elementary
•Kika De La Garza Elementary
•E.B. Reyna Elementary
•Narciso Cavazos Elementary
•Patricio Perez Elementary
•Henry B. Gonzalez Elementary
•Sam Fordyce Elementary
•Emiliano Zapata Elementary
•Corina Peña Elementary
•Evangelina Garza Elementary
•Enrique Camarena Elementary
As a whole, dual language across the country has grown stronger in value over the years. For La Joya ISD, district data has also revealed that participants of the DLE program are showing higher results in the STAAR Assessments compared to those who are not.
Accordingly, dual language programs have benefited many children and are gaining popularity. In the state of Texas. Senate Bill 671allows a student who successfully completes a dual language immersion program in elementary school to be awarded one credit toward their language other than English (LOTE) high school graduation requirement.
To push DLE even further, for the incoming 2019-2020 school year, La Joya ISD will expand opportunities at the middle school level by offering Bi-literate /Bi-cultural designations at Domingo Treviño and Memorial Middle School.
Recently, the University of Texas RGV held their 3rdAnnual Parent Conference: Strengthening Parent-School Partnerships for Dual Language Education, where 14 LJISD parents attended (along with district administration and school principals) and gained a better understanding of the benefits of the DLE Program.
“My children who are in Middle and high school have not been part of the dual language program growing up. Coming to this conference has made me realize that there are so many benefits to dual language instruction, and I’m gathering a lot of information to take back to my community of parents so that other children don’t miss out,” said Ms. Rocia Olivarez, DAC President, La Joya ISD.
La Joya ISD takes pride in providing quality education and expanding learning opportunities, empowering students with high levels of cognitive abilities, graduating bi-lingual, bi-literate and bicultural students, and are humbled to serve as a model for other school districts to follow.