Over the last five years, Tulsa Public Schools has expanded student access to dual language programs, growing from 7 programs to 11 programs across the district! Dual language learning is available for students from pre-kindergarten through the middle school grades. Students then have opportunities to continue with global language electives in high school! Elementary students who start their education in one of our multilingual programs will be proficient in English, Spanish, or French by the time they enter middle school!
Elementary students can participate in dual language learning at Zarrow, Eisenhower, Disney, Mendez, Celia Clinton, Kendall-Whittier, Cooper, Springdale, Sequoyah, and Skelly Elementaries. Middle school students can participate in dual language learning at Will Rogers Middle School.
Director of Multilingual Pathways Liliane Vannoy says: “The research is clear that being bilingual improves brain development in children, helping them be more creative and demonstrate stronger academic performance. Bilingual graduates may also have expanded college and career opportunities in the future.”
Depending on which dual language program students attend, they will participate in either one-way dual language learning, two-way dual language learning, or full language immersion. You can click here to learn which schools offer these options and what each program looks like in the classroom.
Executive Director of Language and Cultural Services Laura Grisso says: “The better you are in your first language, the easier it is to learn a second language. When students dominant in Spanish are learning English, we further strengthen their Spanish skills. When students dominant in English are learning Spanish, we further strengthen their English skills. For our native Spanish-speakers, dual language learning also connects them with their heritage and helps them learn better in English.”
Dual language programs can also put students on a pathway to earn the Tulsa Public Schools Seal of Biliteracy when they graduate high school. The Seal of Biliteracy recognizes students who are proficient in both English and in another language. The district first started offering this achievement in 2018. Since then, 168 students have earned the Seal of Biliteracy for 11 languages including Indonesian, French, Latin, Spanish, Russian, Zomi, Yoruba, Chinese, Pashto, Hmong, and Bangla.
Vannoy says: “During their senior year, students apply for and undergo testing to earn the Seal of Biliteracy in the language of their choice. Once they have taken the test, they are encouraged to mention on college applications that they are candidates for the seal.”
Click here to learn more about the various dual language learning options available for your student.