Dual language classes leading to cognitive advantages

Mainspring School classroom on Aug. 11, 2016 (KXAN Photo/Phil Prazan)
Mainspring School classroom on Aug. 11, 2016 (KXAN Photo/Phil Prazan)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — While students head back to school educators are discussing the importance of teaching dual language classes.

Joining us in the KXAN studio is the Director of student success at E3 Alliance Dr. Nichole Prescott and the Director of English Language Leaner Services for Leander ISD Tina Dozier.

(E3 Alliance)Dr. Prescott says being bilingual gives students a competitive economic edge culturally as well as linguistically.

“As a region, we can utilize the strength of multiple languages, and build a truly bilingual, academically prepared student population, so that we can have a workforce that creates a competitive advantage for our region in the world,” said Dr. Prescott.

English Language Learners are a rapidly growing segment of Texas’ population. In fact, there are more ELLs in Texas than 28 individual states have in total student population.

Research suggests that cognitive advantages of bilingualism can include an increase in memory function, attention to tasks, creativity, and sharper decision-making processes.

“Research also indicates that bilinguals also demonstrate increased cultural awareness, self-control and enlightened self-awareness in that students see themselves as global citizens, at home in the world,” said Tina.

Dr. Prescott said if you are interested in dual language or bilingual programs you should reach out to your local school district and your local principals to express interest and to find out about opportunities.

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