NYC public schools adding 38 new bilingual programs

NYC schools are expanding bilingual education with new programs in Chinese, French, Haitian-Creole, Arabic, Polish and Spanish for the 2016-17 school year, the Board of Education announced yesterday.

Of the 38 new programs, 27 will be in elementary schools, seven in middle schools, and four in high schools.

Seven will be in the Bronx, 21 in Brooklyn, seven in Queens, two in Manhattan and one on Staten Island.

T he 29 “dual language” and nine “transitional bilingual educational programs” are expected to help at least 1,200 students city wide in 36 schools.

In dual language classes, 50% of students are English language learners and 50% are already English proficient and students receive instruction in both languages. In transitional programs, English language learners receive instruction in their first language, with intensive support in English, to achieve full proficiency in each. Both programs hope to help kids become bilingual, biliterate and bicultural.

Knowing and learning in two languages “will be a major asset in acquiring the jobs of the 21st century,” Milady Baez, deputy chancellor for the division of English Language Learners and Student Support, said in a statement.

Research indicates that “children who speak two languages excel in thought processes and flexibility of mind,” said Gregg Korrol, principal of PS 101 in Bath Beach, Brooklyn, which will offer a dual language Mandarin Chinese program for kindergartners. The more expansive a child’s vocabulary, “the better equipped you are to communicate and receive communication from others,” he said.

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