CHANGE STRATEGIES TO
HELP SHAPE THE
BILINGUAL STUDENT IN
This reform project for the English and Spanish
instruction conducive to develop citizens with the ability to use both
languages as vehicles of communication, will start by strengthening
the teachers' capacity to teach through a broad program of professional
development. It will aim at certifying both English and bilingual education
teachers. Moreover, they will be trained on the new teaching
methodologies and strategies; as well as on the modern paradigms of he
curricular reform and the integration of other disciplines such as Humanities,
Science, an Mathematics. English and Spanish instructors will participate
in immersion programs aimed at improving their pronunciation and intonation
in English. In addition to practice professional writing and other
linguistic aspects. With regard to the latter, they will receive assistance
from the Techers' Exchange Program. Emphasis will be given to the relevance
of understanding the standards of excellence and the theoretical curricular
framework, as well as the bilingual philosophy. The integration of technology:
computers, information networks, the internet and others, will be the basic
elements for the contemporary teacher. The humanitarian element of education
will be stressed with special focus on concepts such as study, work, cultural
diversity, and prevention.
The Centers for Dissemination of the PRSSI Project,
will become centers for the professional advancement of teachers where
they will receive orientation regarding pedagogy and the scope of curricular
reform in all different disciplines.
These will be education resource centers containing books, multiple-use
laboratories, reading workshops, writing workshops, music areas, computers,
videos, tape machines, television with cable service and others.
An action plan will be developed to contribute to the student's personal
growth through the following:
a. provide counseling
b. foster the creation of a family and therapeutical environment in
classroom and in the school facilities graduaily
helping the student to
develop self-esteem and motivate his,her desire
for personal changes
c. Assess what effective tools are there in regards to the student's
values and proceed to strengthen them with several
models found among the following:
|Development of Ego
||Solution of ego crises
|Development of morals
|Avoid lagging behind during growth strages.
|Instruction for identify
||Weinstein & Fantini
||Passive identity, self-control and ability to relate with others.
||Sensible to group
||Open communication and personal growth.
||Development of faith in self, others and in God
||Establish optimal relations with him,her through understanding of self
The school directors, acting as facilitators of
the academic efforts, shall provide the necessary spaces in the students'
schedule so they can participate in the activities related to personal
and academic development offered at the Resource Center or in other areas
of the school facilities and in the community.
The Department of Education shall:
Assign the complete instruction of the English language at all to specialists
in this area.
Create and/or support the existing Centers for Personal where resources
are readily available to the teacher so that he, she can utilize them to
improve his/her skills in all aspects of language and culture instruction.
During the seminars teachers can design action research projects.
It is the place where other teaching professionals meet to share ideas
and experiences, and where each teacher can participate in activities related
to personal growth.
Establish a program aimed that offers lectures for strengthening the teachers'
and director's emotional health, provide equipment, a sports area and other
Turn the school facilities into attractive and comfortable places in which
the process of teaching - learning is highly encouraged.
Allow only those instructors with good command of English to teach the
Elaborate an intensive program for recruiting long and short-term personnel
suitable for this position. Among other measures, the following ought to
a. Organize inter-views with university undergraduate students, completing
Provide the means to assign an average of 25 students per course.
The same ought to be done in the instruction of the vernacular so that
teachers have the opportunity to provide individual attention to their
students and make an ongoing assessment of their communicative skills.
Promote and allow school directors to bring community volunteers to serve
as tutors for the instruction of English and to offer these services at
the Center for Professional Development.
Allow for flexibility and provide the means to encourage students to be
promoted to a higher level in a particular subject within the same grade,
after the teacher has evaluated the case and recommend him/her according
to the student's skills and understanding of the subject matter.
Do not allow arry student to fall behind an entire school year because
he/she failed in the English class or any other class. Instead of having
the student repeat one or more than one class, a substitute course should
be prepared (as long as it covers the skills required for specific grade,
it does not matter if it has the same duration. This course could be taken
during summer school or during the school year in the extended period or
With regards to the method of reaching English, research
done by psycholinguists assert that children have the ability to use reasoning
at a higher, therefore, they are able to evaluate ideas level during the
age of 3 or less, therefore, they evaluate ideas within the extent of their
own experience. Upon reaching the age of 5 or 6, these children usually
have the ability to utilize all their thinking skills.
their 3rd and last year. and graduate English students
specializing in the areas of pedagogy and the humanities
in order in order to attract them to our public
b. Create a scholarship program to cover the expenses for those students
who wants to become English teachers. These students
should study at
universities on the mainland or in English speaking
Since the early grades children should be encouraged
to develop a taste for and the habit of reading. There is numerous bibliographical
evidence or written work from Puerto Rico and other pans of the world which
advocates the importance, receptivity and ability of children between the
ages of three (3) and eight (8) to read, and write in their native language
as well as in others.
It is often heard or read about the importance of
stimulating children from the moment they are born, to read to them, talk,
sing or play with them to develop skills and prepare them for school.
The Department of Education in Colorado and the Education
Faculty from the University of Colorado Springs, carried out several studies
in which children between the ages of three (3) and eight (8) were found
to be more receptive and able to begin reading, writing and teaming several
languages. If children are introduced to reading and writing at an age
when they are more receptive, they will possess a reservoir of knowledge
or have a sound foundation to continue learning. Dr. Barbara Swaby suggests
that the ability to read and write will gain more importance as the year
2000 draws near. She thinks that a course for teachers regarding the early
reading instruction in elementary school would give them the opportunity
to share valuable information that would make a significant difference.
On the other hand, recent studies from the University
of Southern California the University of Canada the University of Florida
and other universities, reveal that students today are more interested
in learning to read thanks to the technological advancements which stimulate
and challenge them to continue learning and participating in new technology
games and activities.
Among the advocates of the reading instruction at
an early age, one finds: Jean Piaget, Professor Carmen Gómez Tejera,
and Professor José Cáceres, Ph. D. from the University of
Puerto Rico among many others. In their courses and writings, the
aforementioned human behavior researchers and experts in education, have
discussed the relevance of preparing children from the time they are born
to become good readers or to love reading; for reading is the best source
of human enrichment.
Some teachers believe that the development of critical
thinking skills should not be taught at an early age, therefore, they postpone
these activities until students have reached the 7th grade or even
later grades. This is detrimental to students mental growth.
The formulation of significant questions plays a
pivotal role in the development of these skills. Professor Josephine Ives,
Ph.D., from the University of New York, conducted a study to analyze the
types of questions teachers prepare for their students. The results revealed
that three percent (3%) of the questions stimulated students to a critical
level, two point seven percent (2.7%) to a deductive level, and ninety-seven
percent (97%) to a literal level.
The teaching of a language should be carried out
within an oral and written context by means of dialogue, reading and writing.
Therefore, grammar and language usage ought not be confused that is English
class should not be used to teach grammar but the use of language.
Certain grammar exercises can be used to reinforce some skills, but they
should be the means not the goal of teaching English.
From the above assumptions, the Spanish Program will be guided by the
following alternatives, among others:
TABLES OF PUBLIC POLICY REGARDING
CURRICULAR EMPHASIS ON THE
INSTRUCTION OF ENGLISH AND SPANISH LEVELS
Priority will be given to reading by using books
and the computer
PRIMARY LEVEL KINDERGARTEN TO THIRD GRADE
Readiness for reading in Spanish will start in kindergarten with the necessary
school autonomy to direct the child who is able to begin this process.
At the end of his/her first grade the child will have command of reading
The cognitive theory of learning, contrary to structural behaviorism, underscores
that language arts: listening, speaking, reading, and writing can be taught
simultaneously, therefore, we shall introduce the child into learning English
in first grade by exposing him/her to reading during his/her second school
For the development of reading skills, it is imperative to include skills
that help the student acquire and understand the sentence structures in
English. Structure comprehension is an essential part of reading, it has
the same importance as vocabulary comprehension but this as part of the
communicative competence development.
Upon completing K-3 students should be able to read in Spanish and English
with correctness and propriety. During 4th grade emphasis will be given
to creative writing as a sequel of reading. This genre of writing Will
have been started, in fact, in previous years. In 5th grade, the
schools where the Puerto Rico Statewide Systemic Initiavie in Science and
Mathematics (SSI) is functioning and all others with similar characteristics
will be introduced to Science in a bilingual mode. The teacher will
be able to discuss the readings in English with the students.
Spanish and English instruction at the intermediate level (7-8-9) will
be reinforced, in the first place, by the “block scheduling”, that is,
both classes will have an extended period of 90 minutes. This will
warrant the development of oral, written and reading with more allotted
time. In this level, recreational reading will also be developed.
To comply with one remaing credit requirements of the school organization,
class schedule will become more flexible by using “time blocks”on alternate
days”: Monday Wednesday and Friday; Tuesday and Thursday. This will
help teachers improve the availability of the teacher, class schedules
will be arranged at regular intervals using extended time frames.
All participating schools under Project SSI and the ones under agreement
with the Schools Council will consider Science and Mathematics, if Possible,
as bilingual courses.
English supervisors will assist in the professional development of teachers.
English teachers may attend a workshop or seminar one afternoon a week.
This shall be offered and/or coordinated by the supervisors and superintendents.
Supervisors will not be allowed to substitute for school directors; they
cannot abandon their responsibility to disseminate and monitor the integration
of standards of excellence and the teachers’ professional development.
The high school level will be oriented toward a cross curriculum approach
and an integration curriculum. Teachers will meet to conduct classes in
an integrated manner using common theme. for example: the environment,
the family, prevention, work. Block continue, if possible, with Science
and Mathematics in English and Spanish in schools that decide to implement
High school students will participate in English immersion programs to
refine their conversational ability and others in Spanish to refine writing
skills. These courses shall be offered on an ongoing basis at the Training
Center in Aguadilla and other identified centers. Each aspect of Spanish
reading will refocus on texts promoting the development of universal values.
The readings of the classics in Spanish literature should be reinforced
with readings by authors such as: Lope de Vega, Calderón de la Barca,
Cervantes, Saavedra and others. In English a diversity of texts will also
be reinforced with the use of literary classics such as William Shakespeare,
Lord Byron, William Yeats, and others.
The technological vocational courses will be conducted in English mainly
to help students in obtaining jobs in which English is necessary for their
Family values will be strengthened and self knowledge will
Introduction to reading and other languages arts in Spanish.
Concrete integration of the fine arts and the strengthening
of values and self-knowledge.
Students should read in Spanish on completion this grade.
Emphasis in reading in all subjects.
The Humanities in English and Spanish.
Reading is introduced simultaneously with language arts in
English in the second semester.
Reading in both languages. Spanish in all subjects; English
in its class.
Emphasis on values and self-knowledge.
The Humanities are integrated.
Continued strengthening values and self-knowledge.
Children read subtantially in both languages with emphasis
in reading comprehension.
Priority is given to creative writing from the reading.
4"' TO 6" GRADE LEVEL
Teacher should be cognizant of the curricular emphasis
from K to 3 for continuity.
Strengthening skills in Spanish and English reading, writing,
speaking, and listening.
Continue with emphasis from the fourth grade.
Schools with resources that have reached a consensus with
school Councils may integrate English in Math class.
Continue with emphasis in the fourth and fifth grades. English
is integrated to Science class in schools with resources and after School
|Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth
Reinforcement of English and Spanish program with 90-minutes
Emphasis on integration of the Fine Arts and Humanities.
Emphasis on the integration of technological concept in vocational
Emphasis on conversational, recreational reading, analysis,
synthesis, and integration.
Emphasis on documentary investigation.
Emphasis on conversational aspect in both languages.
|Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth
Participate in English immersion program and Spanish reduction.
Emphasis on the Classics in literature.
Vocational courses with emphasis in English and technological
concepts. Apply the same emphasis in seventh
through ninth grade.