Alaskan educators tour PSJA TMs dual-language program

Educators from Alaska traveled to the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD schools this week to learn more about the dual-language program.

The educators want to preserve their native language, and they hope this visit will help.

As English encroaches in Yupik society, Yupik is beginning to erode, said Gayle Miller, the director of academic programs in their Alaskan district.

They said they researched different dual learning methods and heard of the PSJA approach.

And it TMs impressive, said Miller.

Dual language courses started at PSJA to help bring up the academic scores for Spanish-only speaking students.

That was the subgroup that was always not doing well, said Rosalva Sylva, PSJA TMs dual language coordinator. It goes back many years where the district said we need to do something different. What we TMve been doing hasn TMt been working.

From there, it grew into a district-wide dual language program involving coursework in both English and Spanish starting in Pre-K.

It TMs students who want to take classes that have the rigor, said Sylva.

While the Alaskan educators observed the dual language classes, they saw students recite in English and Spanish.

They said they were also very impressed with Kindergarten classes they observed because they saw these students writing a whole page in Spanish.

The educators have come a long way, and they said it was worth the travel to learn about PSJA TMs dual language method.