Program exposes students to multiple languages at young age

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas — As students around the county pack their bags and head back to school, some of them are preparing to take on their year in a second language.

As Melissa Hernandez started her first day as principal at Ramirez Elementary School, she welcomed kids with a ‘hello’ or ‘buenos días.’

She said she was excited about the opportunity to immerse kids in three different languages: English, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese.

“We absolutely want students to be global minded, to learn multiple languages,” Hernandez said.

Approximately 250 kids in all grade levels are a part of the Spanish immersion course, which means they are taught in Spanish all day, she said. In addition, every student takes a course in Mandarin Chinese.

However, this year parents may hear a variety of terminology.

It’s known as the Spanish Immersion Program for students in kindergarten through first grade. It is called the dual-language program for students in fifth grade. Next year, the program will be introduced under the Spanish Immersion Program for all grade levels, Hernandez said.

Parents with children in the program said it will be a beneficial learning tool for their kids in the future.

“The enrichment of culture that comes with learning a different language just enhances really their whole life,” said Colin Richards, a parent of a student in the program.

Ramirez Elementary School is the only one in Lubbock ISD providing the program. There is currently a wait list, added Hernandez.

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