School districts in Texas are required by state law to assess the English language proficiency of all students whose Home Language Survey indicates that the home language is a language other than English.
If a child demonstrates limited English proficiency on the assessment, s/he will be eligible for enrollment in the appropriate language program: bilingual education or English as a Second Language (ESL). The goal of both programs is to enable English language learners to become competent in the reading, listening, speaking, and writing of the English language through the development of literacy and academic skills in grade level content areas.
Bilingual Education (PreK-5th grade)
Bilingual education is a full-time instructional program that utilizes the student’s native Spanish language as a foundation for teaching the academic content outlined in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Student eligibility for the program is determined through the administration of Spanish and English language proficiency tests, and parent permission is required for entrance into the program. Bilingual education affords students of limited English proficiency an equal opportunity to master grade level TEKS using their native Spanish language while attaining proficiency in English. The amount of English used increases as the student acquires academic English proficiency, and the content area instruction is reinforced with the English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS). District guidelines are implemented to ensure that the program is developmentally appropriate, that the amount of instruction in each language is appropriate, and that the students are challenged to perform at a level commensurate with their linguistic proficiency and academic potential.
Beginning in the 2011-2012 school year, prekindergarten, kindergarten, and first grade bilingual students at the Early Childhood School and Christie Elementary participated in the implementation of a one-way dual language program model. The implementation of this new program model follows:
- 2011-2012: PreK, K, 1st
- 2012-2013: 2nd
- 2013-2014: 3rd
- 2014-2015: 4th
- 2015-2016: 5th
One-way dual language is an additive program model that focuses on challenging, interactive, and authentic instruction. Research has proven that there is stronger long-term secondary educational achievement with this model. Dual language education has three goals:
1. High linguistic proficiency in two languages
2. High academic proficiency in two languages
3. Positive cross-cultural attitudes promoting bilingualism
English as a Second Language (PreK-12th grade)
English as a Second Language (ESL) is an intensive instructional program designed to develop proficiency in the listening, speaking, reading, and writing of the English language. Student eligibility for the program is determined through the administration of an English language proficiency test, and parent permission is required for entrance into the program. All instruction is provided in English and utilizes the TEKS and the ELPS for the cultivation of English language skills and the promotion of academic success in all grade level content areas.
The ESL program for kindergarten through fifth grade is offered as a combination pull-out/content-based model of English-only instruction based on the student’s individual language proficiency level.
The ESL program offers classes in grades 6 through 12 and encourages sheltered instruction in the core content areas of math, science, and US History. Students may be enrolled in an ESL class in place of or in addition to an English class depending on the student’s individual language level.
Locations of the Bilingual and ESL Programs
The following programs are offered at the following FISD schools:
Early Childhood School (PreK and Head Start)
All elementary schools (K-5)
All middle schools (6-8)
All high schools (9-12)
Early Childhood School (PreK and Head Start)
Christie Elementary (K-5)
If the English language learner qualifies for the bilingual program, the student will be transferred upon parent approval to Christie Elementary. Bus transportation is available. Children will continue as full-day students of Christie until they are dismissed from the bilingual program.
PreK and Head Start programs are housed at the Early Childhood School only. Bus transportation is available.
Dismissal from the Bilingual or ESL Programs
English language learners are evaluated frequently throughout the year to monitor student progress. At the end of the year, when a student demonstrates a level of proficiency through required testing that meets state exit criteria and the district requirements of the program model, the Language Proficiency Assessment Committee (LPAC) recommends dismissal from the program. Exited students are monitored academically and socially for two consecutive years.
For further assistance, please contact:
FISD Bilingual/ESL Coordinator