The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

Local News

February 14, 2014

State super lauds dual language

TARBORO — As test results continue to show student achievement, North Carolina's top educator has given a thumbs-up to a program that will make its Edgecombe County debut for the 2014-15 school year.

Edgecombe County Public Schools (ECPS) will open Martin Millennium Academy next year as the system's first dual language/global school.

Partnering with Raleigh-based VIF International Education for curriculum, international teachers and staff development, ECPS officials cited more than 20 years of test results showing program success.

Those results were confirmed last week when recent testing showed K-5 students taking part in dual language programs scored higher in reading, math and science, while also topping state averages.

The continued results of the program drew kudos from the state's top educator.

"Most students begin learning a foreign language in middle or high school, but some here in North Carolina are picking up a scond language as early as kindergarten," N.C. State School Superintendent Dr. June Atkinson said. "The exciting thing about this program is its potential – children obtain a great academic experience, and they also become fluent in another language helping to create a well-rounded, prepared global citizen."

VIF's dual language program starts in kindergarten with instruction almost exclusively in the foreign language (Spanish or Mandarin).

That ratio scales between 80-20 and 20-80 foreign-to-Englsih through second grade as students prepare for state End-of-Grade language testing in third grade.

Students in the program consistently show increased critical thinking, better problem solving and increased cognitive development.

For the complete story, see today's print edition of The Daily Southerner.

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