Jessica Bohne
Jessica Bohne, a kindergarten dual language teacher at Reed ES, works with a student.

Three years ago, Reed Elementary School pioneered Leander ISD’s first Two-Way Dual Language program. The program provides students an opportunity to become bilingual, bi-cultural and bi-literate in both Spanish and English by the fifth grade.

Young students who are naturally inclined to move, talk and play do just that with the partner system. They use visual tools, such as word walls, books and pictures, as well as physical movement to learn together.

“The time in the classroom is driven by the kids,” Bohne said. “It’s not just something that’s good for bilingual students – it’s something that every student can benefit from.”

LISD teachers across the district also benefit from collaborating as a cohesive dual language team. Dual language teachers join together for “collaboration days” throughout the school year, which provide them a purposeful time to support one another, share ideas and learn continuously together. This professional development is important to meet the needs of an increasingly global community, Bohne said.

“The real beauty of the program is the development of two languages,” she said. “It’s a gift students will be able to use for their whole lives.”