• TES Dual Language Frequently Asked Questions


    1. How are the "language of the day" days divided?

    In the Gomez and Gomez Model, the languages of the day are designated as follows: Monday, Wednesday and Friday are Spanish; Tuesday and Thursday are English. This means that both groups of students will have a designated activity in the target language, and that all teacher interactions during transition times, lunch, and recess are in conducted in the language of the day.
     
    2. Is there homework that goes home? What language?

    At TES, our emphasis is on literacy at home. Children will have access to reading materials in both languages. At no time will something be sent home for homework that the student cannot do independently. We ask that parents provide encouragement and a place for homework, and do not expect them to be tutors.

    3. Are bilingual buddies changed? How often?

    The arrangement of bilingual buddies is flexible and fluid, and the teacher will adjust the arrangement based on the needs of the students. It is our goal that students have the opportunity to work with all students in the class.

    4. How much of the day is in Spanish for the English speakers?

    Typical schedule per Gomez and Gomez model:
    Language of the Day Activity (M,W, F=Spanish, T,TH=English)
    Native Language Arts*

    Math (English for all, mixed groups of English/Spanish speaking children)
    Science (Spanish for all: Students are mixed groups of English/Spanish speaking children)
    Social Studies (Spanish for all: Students are mixed groups of English/Spanish speaking children)
    *(English for Native English speakers, Spanish for Native Spanish speakers)

    5. Do they have science and social studies every day?

    Yes, please see question 4.

    6. What language does my child get math instruction in?

    English, please see question 4.

    7. What is the student ratio in each class? How many students in each class?

    Per state law, 22 students may be enrolled in a kindergarten class. Waivers are required for more than 22. It is our goal to have a 1:1 ratio for native English Speakers and Native Spanish Speakers.

    8. How do students travel back and forth through the day?

    Dual language classrooms are located in close proximity. They follow the schedule as noted in Question 4.

    9. How are dual language kids tested on state required tests as they move on in school?

    Students in a dual language program take the same state assessments as all Texas students. For students learning English as their second language, the LPAC committee determines the language of assessment.

    10. How are the test results for students that have been in dual language?

    By 5th grade, students in dual language programs out-perform their peers in regular academic programs.

    11. Is there a point that a teacher won't accept an English response?

    At TES, we treat each student as an individual. When the student has demonstrated mastery in the vocabulary or concept in target language, the response would be expected in that language by the teacher.
     
    12. How will you differentiate for different academic needs of students?

    We are moving toward Individualized Learning Plans with the implementation of LEAD 2021, GCISDʼs Strategic Plan. The learning needs of each student will be met, whether in his/her own classroom with his/her own teachers (GT certified and certified in ESL), or by another teacher of a higher or lower grade level, or by a specially trained teacher for specific needs. Accommodations will be made to differentiate for students showing mastery in either language.
     
    13. If the numbers go over, are families in TES zone given preference?
     
    At this time, applications will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. Future decisions regarding applications into the program will be based on the data gathered this year.

    14. How will children who are already ready to read in Spanish be served if they are English speakers?

    Please see question 12.

    15. Are there district plans beyond 5th grade for students that have been in an elementary dual language program?

    Conversations have begun regarding middle school course offerings for dual language program students. Typically, in middle schools dual language students have opportunities for advanced Spanish classes as well as selected content classes delivered in Spanish.

    16. What do I need to do to increase my chances of getting my child in the
    program?

    Applications will be accepted on May 21, 2012 at 6:00 am. They are accepted in the order in which the parents are standing in line. In the past, families have ensured their spot in the program by getting in line sometime during the weekend prior to Application day.

    17. Are all dual language campuses opening up enrollment to all students in the district on the same day?

    Yes. Applications will be accepted at Cannon Elementary, Silver Lake Elementary, and Timberline Elementary on May 21, 2012 at 6:00 am.

    18. How long will it take my child to acquire enough Spanish to speak to me?

    Research states that it takes 5-7 years to acquire a language. That being said, students develop certain skills quickly, others come with more time. They will be able to follow instructions and perform tasks that require listening before they are able to confidently speak in the second language.

    19. For non-Spanish speaking parents, what support do you give to help me
    help my child?
     
    At TES, it is our goal to begin a support group for dual language parents in our new Parent Center. More details will be coming soon.
     
    20. How are the classes handled if the teacher is absent? Are there capable substitutes available?
     
    Substitutes are available when teachers are absent. It does, however, affect the language of instruction when a Spanish speaking substitute is not available.
     
    21. How are students that are part of a dual language program impacted if they qualify for G/T?
     
    Students in dual language programs participate in all other programs offered. If the student qualifies for the GT program, the pull-out program begins in first grade. Every effort is made to accommodate the dual language program schedule so that students do not miss the Spanish language portion of the day.
     
    22. How will I know what position I am in line for the application process? How early should I be at TES to turn in my application?
     
    In the past, families have organized themselves by keeping a sign in sheet for both classes in the program: English and Spanish. Some families arrived last year shortly after school on the Friday before applications were accepted, and others arrived early in the morning on Monday.
     
    23. Can families help one another hold spots in line when turning in applications?
     
    Families organize themselves and adhere to a set of norms and rules established by the group.