November 11, 2012

Article: Dual-Language Program Is about Building Bridges


Bilingual program is about 'building bridges'
by Meg Dickinson
November 5, 2012

The Urbana school district this year started a dual-language program in kindergarten and first grade at Leal and Prairie schools. There are a total of six classrooms — four kindergartens and two first grades — in which English and Spanish speakers learn together in both languages.

Leal Principal Spencer Landsman said he hasn't seen any native English-speaking students stressed out about being taught in Spanish.

"They are totally unfazed," Landsman said, and they figure things out. "I haven't even seen a perplexed look."

Guadalupe Ricconi, the Urbana school district's interim director of bilingual and multicultural programs, said she has enjoyed seeing students go through phases of language acquisition just as research on the topic predicts.

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