Beaverton School District planning expansion of dual language educations

Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 9:46 PM PDT
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BEAVERTON Ore. (KPTV) - More parents will soon have the option of enrolling their kids in a dual language program in the Beaverton School District. The district has plans to expand its dual language program so that eventually all kids in the district will have the option of a dual language education from kindergarten through 12th grade.

Right now at Vose Elementary there are English language classrooms and dual language classrooms, but if a parent wants their kid in dual language, there is a waiting list.

“It feels more expressive like people can express what they think should be correct but don’t know how to say in the other language,” says 4th grader Vangelis Rodriguez.

Vangelis and Giovani have been in Vose Elementary’s dual language program since kindergarten. They say in their classroom, it’s not just the teacher helping students, but students helping other students too.

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Vose is one of a handful of schools in the Beaverton School District that educates its students in English and Spanish. But over the next two years, the district plans to have dual language education available in 3 to 4 more schools – and not just in English and Spanish -- but in other languages as well.

Parents have requested a wide range of languages -- from Arabic to Somali and Mandarin Chinese.

“The students are going to be more prepared for a global society to and have the facility to go anywhere they want or find better jobs or more options for jobs because they are bilingual,” says 4th grade teacher Saulo Hernandez.

Vangelis and Giovani say in the beginning, learning in two languages can be challenging -- but the key is to stick with it.

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“Even if it’s hard they should keep doing it until they achieve it so they can speak different languages and be more inclusive,” Giovani says.

The Beaverton School District plans to add dual language classrooms at the elementary school level first, then work up through middle and high school so that eventually kids can get a dual language education K-12.