Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hoboken Dual Language Program Approved by Board of Education

On the evening of November 18, the Hoboken Board of Education voted to support development and funding for the Hoboken Dual Language Program (also known as HoLa). The vote was preceded by a formal presentation on dual language programs in general, and the Hoboken Dual Language Program in specific by Camille Korschun Bustillo and Jennifer Hindman Sargent of the HoLa Leadership LLP. After the presentation, there was a question and answer period moderated by Board President Kearns and Superintendent Raslowsky which included thoughtful and sometimes spirited comments by parents, citizens and community leaders. The Hoboken Dual Language Program will join a list of other programs in the district including, but not limited to, The John Hopkins Gifted and Talented Program (Grades 3-7); the Middle Years International Baccalaureate Program (MYP) (Grades 5-10); and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (Grades 11 and 12).

Dual language is a form of education in which students are taught literacy and content in two languages. The majority of dual language programs in the United States teach in English and Spanish. Dual language programs use the partner language (in this case Spanish) for at least half of the instructional day in the elementary years, HoLa will use the partner language in approximately 90% of the instructional day. Dual language programs aim for bilingualism (the ability to speak fluently in two languages), biliteracy (the ability to read and write in two languages), academic achievement equal to that of students in non-dual language programs, and cross-cultural competence.

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