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Students aim to be one step ahead with NEISD Dual Language program

In Ms. Mata Castillo’s Kindergarten class at Vineyard Ranch Elementary School, you’ll find a lot of students excited to get talking.

The cool thing is that they are doing it in more than one language!

This is just one of the many dual language classrooms in North East ISD.

The program is offered at 23 campuses in the District.

Yesica Mata Castillo has been teaching Kindergarten for five years.

“I think dual language is a wonderful program that allows kids the opportunity to learn to languages; to be able to not just know the language, but the culture,” she said.

The enrollment window to apply is open until February 28th, 2020, and spots are still available at several campuses.

“I feel the most important thing is to make them feel like they belong. I always tell them that we are always learning. It can be a language; it can be a concept. So, I have children who are learning English and I have children who are learning Spanish and it doesn’t matter because as long as we are learning together and are a team, we make it happen,” Mata Castillo added.

The nurturing environment is what keeps students like ten-year-old Mariana returning to dual language year after year.

Mariana Montemayor is a fifth-grade student who has been in the program at Vineyard Ranch since Kindergarten.

She hopes being bilingual will give her more job opportunities in the future.

“Now I know two languages, right? so that’s really awesome!”

The ten year old hopes to be an environmental engineer one day.

Ms. Mata Castillo said she loves to see how much the children grow from one semester to the next.

“You see that progress all the time. You see the confidence; you see them being proud; you see them always wanting to ask questions. You see the academic growth but you also see the emotional growth and I think that sense of belonging is so important,” she said.

Ms. Mata said she loves teaching at Vineyard Ranch and she said it’s more than just a school, it’s a community.

“I like it because we always come here with a smile. I think that’s what makes Vineyard Ranch very special, that this becomes your second home.”

Discover the NEISD way, where our educators offer choices and opportunity for our students to learn and grow.

The full list of campuses that offer dual language can be found here:

For a map of the Bilingual Clusters, click here:

For more information about the Dual Language Program, click here:

Ashley Speller