GOALS OF BILINGUAL EDUCATION

  • The goal of the Bilingual Education Program is to ensure that each student’s first language and culture are honored and used as a vehicle to facilitate English language acquisition so that English Learners are able to master the state curriculum while becoming biliterate.  We strive to accomplish this goal by providing explicit instruction that addresses the four language domains of listening, speaking, reading, and writing in all academic areas.

    Description of Bilingual Education Program

    The bilingual education program provides access to the state curriculum.  Teachers must be specially trained to teach in bilingual education programs and meet the special language needs for their students.  The program teaches English to EBs using appropriate methods.  It helps build knowledge and learning of academic subjects in the first language and English.  In addition, it instills self-assurance, confidence and cultural pride in students. Student eligibility for the program is determined through the administration of an English language proficiency test, and parent permission is required for entrance into the program. All instruction utilizes the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and the English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS) for the cultivation of English language skills and the promotion of academic success in all grade level content areas.

    Program Eligibility

    School districts in Texas are required by state law to assess the English language proficiency of all students whose Home Language Survey indicates that the home language is a language other than English. 

    If a child demonstrates limited English proficiency on the assessment, s/he will be eligible for enrollment in the appropriate language program: bilingual education or English as a Second Language (ESL). Bilingual education programs serve students who have a language other than English in their homes and need help learning English.  English-speaking students may also participate in bilingual education programs to become proficient in two languages. All students in bilingual education must receive instruction in the TEKS in their native language and English.  Language arts, reading, mathematics, science and social studies are taught as part of the state mandated curriculum.  Music, physical education, health, and art are also part of a balanced curriculum.

    Currently, the bilingual education programs in Waco ISD are offered pre-K through fifth grade.  

    Middle School and High School

    Each middle school and high school campus in Waco ISD has English as a Second Language (ESL) Content Program but no bilingual education program. The ESL program in grades 6-12, is an intensive program of instruction designed to develop proficiency in the listening, speaking, reading, and writing of the English language. Students are enrolled in an ESL block according to their English proficiency level with a highly qualified ESL teacher where they learn functional, social and academic language to communicate in different settings. All other content area teachers serving ESL students use sheltered instruction strategies to help students understand content and develop academic language in the areas of Math, Science, Social Studies, and English Language Arts. All courses for ESL students provide instruction based on the TEKS and follow the ELPS.