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Dual Language Program at BES - Parent Choice Opportunity
The Dual Language model has been part of the Basalt Elementary School programing for 25 years. Over those years it has been modified and improved in many ways.  

The Dual Language Program is a form of education in which students are taught literacy and content in two languages. The program aim is -
Bilingualism - the ability to listen and speak fluently in two languages
Biliteracy - the ability to read and write in two languages
Academic achievement equal to that of students in non-dual language programs
Cross-culture learning experiences
Enrichment language program for all students

BES is a two-way (bilingual) partial immersion program. Our goal is to enroll a balance of native English speakers and native Spanish speakers in the homeroom class. We are a partial immersion, or 50/50, program teaching about 50% of the time in English and 50% of the time in Spanish. Research indicates that students who spend more time in the partner language do better in that language (Howard, Christian & Genesee, 2001; Lindholm-Leary, 2001; Lindholm-Leary & Howard, in press) and that language minority students (in the U.S>, those whose native language is not English) do better academically when their native language is supported and developed (Thomas & Collier, 1997; 2002).

Our school divides language through the daily schedule. Within the dual language program, students speak and study in one language at a time, and the times for each language are explicitly defined. At BES students rotate speaking one language one week and the other language the next week during Crew, Math, Science, Social Studies and Health in Kindergarten through the 4th grades. Literacy is taught in a child’s primary language first and in their new language second. Classrooms with dual language learners also benefit from each other’s language expertise and diverse cultural experiences throughout the school year.

Our results show that our students meet or exceed their peers in academic learning who are not a part of the bilingual program. If you have further questions about the program, please contact Suzanne Wheeler-Del Piccolo, Principal at 384-5801.