Dual Language education gives students an advantage throughout their PK-12 education as well as college. Research shows that English-learners in DL programs outperform their peers in English-only classes and in traditional bilingual “early exit” programs. There simply is no good reason that students must lose Spanish in order to learn English. Spanish-learners, on the other hand, keep their English and acquire a second language, Spanish. Most research shows that DL students score higher on standardized tests than non-DL students.
DL students are more likely to go to college than “early exit” students. And, as we know, academic success is tied to long-term happiness (see Duncan, Ziol-Guest & Kalil, “Early-childhood Poverty and Adult Attainment, Behavior, and Health”). Most colleges require students to learn a second language, and students coming out of DL high-school programs are already certified bilingual and biliterate. They have already exceeded most college language requirements. In contrast, bilingual children who are only taught Spanish in their home are less likely to achieve the high levels of bilingualism and biliteracy in Academic Spanish achieved by DL students.
Many RGV students who go to college choose UTRGV. The B3 Initiative at UTRGV aims to cultivate students who are truly bilingual, bicultural and biliterate. Students who graduate from DL programs are more likely to be B3, and are, therefore, among the most desirable students for UTRGV. These students are well-prepared not just to take any course offered in English, but also to take courses taught fully in Spanish.
More information coming in Summer 2019