A Dual Language Program in Maryland: Sylvan Dell Gets It

Visit the Sylvan Dell webpage, and you’ll find access to eBooks with audio features for every one of our titles. Not unfamiliar with the growing percentage of Spanish speakers in the country, we’ve included both an English and Spanish audio AND text option. Our readers can switch back and forth between languages with the click of a button—a concept familiar to the students at Kemp Hill Elementary who can “switch” between English and Spanish as easily as walking from one room to the next. In fact, that’s EXACTLY the idea behind the dual language program at this school in Maryland!

From the Washington Post

The program, which includes 139 students, operates between two rooms. In one room, English is spoken, and in the other, only Spanish is spoken. The children alternate between classrooms throughout the day, offering the perfect educational balance between the two languages for both Spanish speakers learning English and vice versa.

Kemp Hill Elementary Principal, Floyd Stand, believes the school has finally got it all figured out as far as bilingual education. “There have been bilingual programs for years,” Starnes said. “The secret is not just to have Spanish-speaking students. The secret is having them together with English speakers,” he said.

Perhaps one of the most rewarding moments for the teachers in the dual language program is to witness English-speaking students and Spanish-speaking students working together during daily lessons. Such was the case in Anne Doan’s second grade class when she asked students to complete an analogy.

“Oak tree is to acorn as pine tree is to ___.”

One English-speaking boy guessed a fruit, while a Spanish-speaking girl knew the answer but not the English word.

“It is brown,” the girl said. “It has scales.”

Realizing the answer by his classmate’s unintentional hints, the boy cried out, “Pine cone!”

From the Washington Post

The program’s success is marked by the high percentage of proficient scores after students took the state’s reading exam. Allison Jefferson, the program coordinator, fully supports the programs as an efficient tool for young students learning either English or Spanish. “The bottom line is, we really believe in it,” Jefferson said. “We’ve been trying for years to promote this program for English-language learners.”

At Sylvan Dell, we believe in the power of bilingual education also! Just check out our website where you will find both English and Spanish versions of all our titles, including audio options for both languages! Audiobooks are here: http://www.sylvandellpublishing.com/mp3s/AudioBookPlayer.htm. And check out the full story on the bilingual program at Kemp Hill in the Washington Post here! – by Diana Rowe, Public Relations Assistant

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