Bilingual Education Helps Students

Bilingual Education Helps Students

December 15, 2019 1 By Ronny Jaskolski


ROB MCCLENDON: WELL
HERE IS SOMETHING
TO THINK ABOUT. WHEN IT COMES TO THE
LANGUAGE OF BUSINESS,
ENGLISH IS THE MOST WIDELY SPOKEN. BUT AFTER THAT IT IS NOT
JAPANESE, FRENCH OR EVEN
MANDRIN CHINESE THAT COMES IN SECOND. IT IS SPANISH, WHICH IS
WHY ONE TULSA SCHOOL IS
OFFERING A BILINGUAL EDUCATION. JOINING ME NOW IS
OUR ANDY BARTH. ANDY BARTH: WELL ROB, THE
AMERICAN WORKFORCE IS
EVOLVING ON A DAILY BASIS. IN THE NEXT TEN YEARS, AS
MANY AS EIGHTY-SEVEN
MILLION BABY BOOMERS WILL REITRE. AND AS OF NOW THERE ARE
ONLY FIFTY-SEVEN MILLION
PEOPLE READY TO REPLENISH AMERICAN JOBS. AND, A GROWING TREND IN
STATES LIKE TEXAS,
OKLAHOMA, AND KANSAS IS THAT HISPANICS ARE A
GROWING PART OF THE
WORK-READY AGE GROUP, MAKING IT NECESSARY
FOR OUR YOUNG PEOPLE
TO BECOME BILINGUAL. ANDY: AT FIRST GLANCE,
IT’S YOUR TYPICAL
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. BUT IF YOU LISTEN
CLOSELY, THE WORDS BEING
SUNG ARE IN SPANISH. PEGGY MOSS: OUR MISSION
IS TO GROW SUCCESSFUL
GLOBAL CITIZENS. AND SO I THINK THAT
EVERYTHING WE DO WE TRY TO
TIE BACK TO THAT MISSION. ANDY: INSIDE THESE
CLASSROOMS YOU’LL HEAR AS
MUCH SPANISH AS ENGLISH. PEGGY MOSS IS THE
SCHOOL’S PRINCIPAL. MOSS: IMMERSION IS
BASICALLY LEARNING CONTENT
AND ALL OF THE OBJECTIVES AND SKILLS THAT YOU
NORMALLY WOULD IN SCHOOL
BUT THROUGH A SECOND LANGUAGE. OUR KIDS COME IN AT PRE-K
AND THEY LEARN THE SAME
CURRICULUM AS THE REST OF TULSA PUBLIC SCHOOLS,
THEY JUST LEARN
IT THROUGH SPANISH. AND IN THAT PROCESS
THEY’RE ACTUALLY LEARNING
THE SPANISH LANGUAGE. AT THIS AGE THE CHILD’S
BRAIN IS LIKE A SPONGE FOR
LANGUAGE, THEY’RE STILL LEARNING THEIR
OWN LANGUAGE. ANDY: AND IN MICHELLE
SAENZ’S KINDERGARDEN
CLASS, THE LEARNING CURVE IS SET PRETTY HIGH. MICHELLE SAENZ: I THINK
EVERY CHILD NEEDS TO HAVE
A SECOND LANGUAGE BECAUSE WE’RE SO DIVERSE AND ALSO
BECAUSE IT’S MORE
IMPORTANT FOR WHEN THEY’RE OLDER THEY HAVE
MORE OPPORTUNITIES
IN THE JOB MARKET. ANDY: FOR SAENZ, TEACHING
KINDERGARDEN IS A FIRST. BUT THE PAYOFF IS BIG. SAENZ: I’VE NEVER WORKED
WITH THE LITTLE ONES
BEFORE, AND I HAVE ONES THAT ARE ALREADY
COUNTING BY TENS. WORKING IN THIRD GRADE, I
DIDN’T EVEN SEE THAT UNTIL
THE END OF THIRD GRADE SO IT’S REALLY EXCITING. AND THEN I HAVE THOSE ONES
THAT ARE TRYING THEIR
HARDEST AND JUST HIT THOSE LIGHT BULB MOMENTS
WHEN THEY GET IT, AND
IT’S REALLY EXCITING. ANDY: AND FOR STUDENTS
BRISA FLORES AND KAI
LUKENBAUGH, LEARNING IN A SECOND LANGUAGE IS
JUST NO BIG DEAL. BRISA FLORES & KAI
LUKENBAUGH: I LIKE
SPEAKING SPANISH HERE; BECAUSE WE LEARN HOW TO
SPEAK TWO LANGUAGES. I LIKE DOING THE SENTENCES
AND DOING THE CALENDAR. PEGGY MOSS: THE DUAL
IMMERSION PART IS A VERY
IMPORTANT PART OF OUR SCHOOL. IF YOU DON’T HAVE PARENTS
AT HOME WHO CAN HELP YOU
WITH YOUR HOMEWORK, IN THE CLASSROOM IS WHERE THEY
HAVE TO REALLY GET THEIR
SKILLS AND STRATEGIES TO BE ABLE TO TACKLE THE
WORK THAT WE GIVE THEM. AND IT’S THE SAME FOR
THE ENGLISH SPEAKERS TOO
BECAUSE THEIR PARENTS USUALLY CAN’T HELP THEM
WITH THEIR HOMEWORK EITHER
BECAUSE THEY DON’T SPEAK SPANISH. SO THEY’RE ALL IN THE SAME
BOAT AND THEY’RE JUST
LEARNING SIDE BY SIDE, TWO DIFFERENT POPULATIONS
THAT MIGHT NOT REALLY
BE WORKING TOGETHER OTHERWISE. SO WE FIND THAT COMPONENT
OF OUR PROGRAM PROBABLY
ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT AND ACTUALLY DEFINING
PIECES OF OUR PROGRAM. ANDY: BRIDGING A CULTURAL
GAP WHILE CULTIVATING
TODAY’S YOUNG MINDS. ANDY: NOW WHEN THE SCHOOL
BEGAN, IT ONLY OFFERED
PRE-K AND KINDERGARTEN. BUT IT PLANS TO ADD
ONE GRADE EACH YEAR
THROUGH FIFTH GRADE. ROB: SO JUST HOW UNIQUE
IS THIS TYPE OF SCHOOL? ANDY: WELL ROB, THERE ARE
TWO OTHER IMMERSION
SCHOOLS IN THE TULSA AREA. BUT THEY DON’T OFFER DUAL
IMMERSION, WHICH IS WHERE
STUDENTS ARE TAUGHT HALF IN SPANISH AND THE
OTHER TIME IN ENGLISH. ROB: ALRIGHT,
THANKS SO MUCH ANDY. ANDY: YOU’RE WELCOME ROB.