GOALS OF BILINGUAL EDUCATION
The goal of the bilingual education program is to help English Language Learners (ELLs) master the state curriculum and teach English to all participating students. We do this through explicit instruction in 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 ELLs 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.
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.
Currently, the bilingual education program in Waco ISD is offered pre-K through fifth grade and in a limited number of district schools.
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.
Will my child be taught the same subjectsand skills as students in the regular program? All students in bilingual education must receive instruction in the TEKS in their native language and English. Language arts, reading, mathematics, scienceand social studies are taught as part of the state mandated curriculum. Music, physical education, health, and artare also part of a balanced curriculum.