• Dual Language Program


    The Tarrytown Dual Language program provides students with  the opportunity to learn a second language while continuing to develop theirnative language proficiency. Students are exposed to the same curriculum as their peers while also having the opportunity to learn a second language.  Dual Language classes include a balance of students from Spanish-language and English-language backgrounds who participate together in instructional activities, which are presented in two languages.

    A dedicated staff, trained in second language acquisition, deliver a curriculum that is aligned to state standards. Assessments are given throughout the program to track academic and language achievement. Differentiated instruction is incorporated into daily lesson plans to meet the needs of all students.

    What is a Dual Language program?

    Dual Language programs integrate students from two language groups for all or most of the day, and provide content instruction and literacy instruction to all students in both languages.  Dual Language programs are:

    • additive bilingual programs in which students learn in two languages
    • have students who are native English speakers and native speakers of another language (ratio: 50/50)
    • integrate linguistically diverse students for all or most of their academic subjects
    • use the second language for a minimum of 50% of the academic instructional time

    What are the goals of the Tarrytown Dual Language program?

    Students in both language groups are expected to comprehend, speak, read, and write in English and Spanish.  The students are expected to:

    • meet or exceed standards for academic performance
    • develop proficiency in their first language
    • develop proficiency in their second language
    • demonstrate positive attitudes and behaviors towards the cultures of others and their own

    How is the program structured?

    • Two classes on each grade level working side by side (Grades K – 4)
    • 50-50 model where equal proportions of Spanish and English are used for instruction
    •  Spanish dominant children work along English dominant children for most of the school day
    • Language is separated by classroom and by teacher
    • Students receive literacy and content area instruction in both languages

    What are the benefits of learning two languages?

    It is estimated that half to two-thirds of the world’s population is bilingual.  Children who know more than one language have intellectual, educational, personal, social and economic advantages that continue throughout their lives.

    IntellectualResearch shows that knowing more than one language increases a person’s thinking abilities.  Bilingual individuals have greater mental flexibility and use those skills to their advantage in understanding math concepts and solving word problems. (Hakuta, 1990)

    EducationalPreliminary research shows that on academic achievement tests both English-proficient students and English Language Learners in Dual Language programs perform as well as, or better than, their peers who receive all of their instruction in English. 

    Personal Developing a child’s first language helps the child to value his or her culture and heritage, thus contributing to a positive self-image.  Learning a second language also develops an appreciation of other cultures.

    SocialWhen the native language is maintained, important links to family and other community members are preserved and enhanced.  Learning a second language also provides the individual with the opportunity to reach out to members of other cultural groups.

    Economic   The demand for bilingual employees throughout the world is increasing.  Knowing two or more languages is a great asset in the job market.

    Parental Involvement

    The Tarrytown Dual Language programs seeks to involve all family members by providing second language classes for parents, in order to enable parents to support and encourage the use of the second language, and assist their children with school work.

    In addition, a  Dual Language Parent Advisory Committee was established to provide members of the Tarrytown schools community an opportunity to provide guidance with the ongoing development and implementation of the Dual Language program, and provide a forum where ideas and concerns may be shared. The Advisory Committee includes a member of the Board of Education, along with principals, teachers and parent representatives from all three grade levels and school buildings. 

    Application Process

    Informational meetings are held in the spring for parents of students entering Kindergarten in the Tarrytown school district the following fall.  Meetings are held in both English and Spanish, and provide interested parents with an overview of the program and an opportunity to ask questions.  Applications are distributed during these meetings. Please note that submitting a dual language application does not guarantee admission, as a lottery is used to select participants in order to guarantee a gender and language balance.  A few students may also enter the program in grades 1 and 2, if vacancies become available. 

    For additional information, please contact the building Principal


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