Dear Administrators, Instructional Specialists, Coordinators, and Teachers:
I am looking forward to this year in sharing ideas with you to introduce Spanish language programs in your schools. As educators, you have the opportunity to offer students the best possible programs to enhance their education and expand their horizons. Introducing a Spanish program into your school and/or district curriculum will provide countless benefits to your students.
As elementary educators, you have the option of offering Spanish immersions programs, dual language immersions programs, or partial immersion programs all of which are different than Bilingual Education. These are programs where students are immersed in Spanish full-time, 50% of the time, or another percentage based on the selected program.
As middle school educators, you have the option to continue to offer Spanish language programs to incoming elementary students who have taken Spanish in primary grades. If there are no incoming Spanish students, you have the option to begin a Spanish program in middle school and to offer Spanish 4 AP Language to Spanish-speakers. Sounds incredible! It can be done. I will discuss several models and their implementation.
As high school educators, you have several options to offer higher level Spanish courses to incoming middle school students who have studied Spanish, expand the high school program to include Honors courses, Advance Placement courses, and introduce Spanish for Spanish-speakers courses.
Elementary, middle school, and high school educators can work together to establish K-12 programs in their school districts so that students in these programs will graduate with bilingual abilities and will be more prepared to function in this global society.
Together we will take a journey through the ins and outs of implementing new Spanish programs or expanding existing ones. Together we can find ways to meet the needs of our non-Spanish-speaking students as well as refine the language skills of Spanish-speakers. Together we can build different futures for your students – futures that include possibilities beyond their realm of consideration.
I invite you to join me in this journey throughout this school year as we review Best Practices in Spanish Language Programs.
María J. Fierro-Treviño
Instructional Specialist, Northside Independent School District, San Antonio, TX. (Retired)
Director for Languages other than English, Texas Education Agency (Retired)