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Growing up bilingual: Come learn about GISD's Dual Language program @ meetings April 10 & 11

GISD is launching an exciting new program next year that will empower students to grow up bilingual by learning in both Spanish and English.


The Dual Language program is open to incoming GISD kindergartners (regardless of where they live). The program will be located at Bowie Elementary, and transportation to Bowie will be provided to students districtwide.


Parents are required to fill out an application in order for their child to be considered. Applications are due by 3 p.m. Thursday, April 26 at any GISD elementary campus or at the Administration Building (4004 Moulton St.). The application forms are available in English and Spanish.


Here are the concepts behind the program:

  • Students will be paired off as academic partners with one English-speaking student and one Spanish-speaking student helping one another.
  • Reading & writing will be taught in students' native language.
  • Math will be taught in English.
  • Science & Social Studies will be taught in Spanish.

Research shows that children who grow up speaking more than one language have distinct learning advantages. The mental processes required to learn two different languages and then easily switch between them enables children to develop high levels of the following:

  • language skills
  • mathematical skills
  • problem-solving abilities
  • creative thinking skills 
In the study (published in the International Journal of Bilingualism), 121 bilingual children were given the same tests and tasks to perform as children who spoke only one language, and the bilingual students consistently performed better at them. The bilingual children also had larger vocabularies, and they scored higher on their ability to understand the words, demonstrating much more detail and richness when describing them.
In a paper presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, researchers found similar results, which suggested much more strength and flexibility in the "brain wiring" of people who speak more than one language. Click HERE to see more bilingual research.

Some parents have asked us about the difference between Dual Language and Bilingual Education. Dual Language is a two-way program that enables students to learn and speak in both English and Spanish. On the other hand, Bilingual Education is a one-way program that enables students who grew up speaking and learning in a language other than English to learn to speak and learn in English.