Dual Language Program at BES

The Dual Language model has been part of the Basalt Elementary School programming for 26 years. Over those years it has been modified and improved to support the learning needs of all students. The Dual Language program is an option for enrolling families.

The Dual Language Program is a form of education in which students are taught Crew, Reading, Writing, Math, Science, Health and Social Studies in both Spanish and English. The program goals are as follows:

  • High Academic Achievement
  • Biliteracy and Bilingualism
  • Sociocultural competency

BES is a two-way (bilingual) 50/50 or 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 program that focuses on 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). BES continues to use new research and strategies to improve the program for all students. 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. In grades K-1 students have equal parts Spanish Literacy and English Literacy daily. This will continue to move up each year throughout the grade levels. Classrooms with dual language learners also benefit from each other’s language expertise and diverse cultural experiences throughout the school year.

If you have further questions about the program, please contact Grant Waaler, Principal at 384-5801 or gwaaler@rfschools.com.