‘Sueño de un idioma común’

Nate Blakeslee, “Dream of a Common Language. Sueño de un Idioma Común,” Texas Monthly, September 2009, on a dual-language education program at Alicia R. Chacón International, in El Paso, Texas:

Teaching advanced Spanish literacy alongside English is a goal that no other form of bilingual education even aspires to, but it is the secret to the success of the dual language model. “In most districts, kids are moved out of bilingual education just as soon as they learn rudimentary English,” said Elena Izquierdo, a professor of bilingual education at the University of Texas at El Paso. Dual language takes longer, in part because so much time is devoted to Spanish grammar and literacy. But it pays off down the road. “Learning how Spanish works helps them develop the cognitive skills they need to learn English well,” she said. When it all clicks into place, she said, it’s an amazing thing to see.