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  • Writer's pictureLucas Nava

Big Hollow educators lead presentation on kindergarten-level Spanish-English hybrid instruction

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Big Hollow School District Multilingual Services facilitator Daisy Orellana, alongside Curriculum director Dr. Michelle Hetrovicz, led a recent presentation to the district school board regarding their dual-language program that features Spanish and English instruction in a kindergarten classroom.

Their class currently has 20 students, with 10 speaking Spanish and 10 speaking English. Both educators use several different curriculums that are in Spanish, English or a fusion of both to teach reading and writing competency in each language.

"We have a lot of English and Spanish books that are in the library, students really enjoy looking at those," Hetrovicz said during the presentation. "Exploring math concepts, doing art, working on puzzles, collaborating on building."

The students involved in the program receive Spanish instruction on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursday, the instructors provide bridge instruction, which involves looking at Spanish and English separately and studying the similarities between the two languages. Friday is an extension day, meaning that the instructors "extend" what the students learned in Spanish into English. All special classes, such as gym and art, are given in English.

Orellana and Hetrovicz also conducted a "Beginning of the Year" test to measure their students' Spanish fluency. As of the current date, no students are registered as fluent, and only two students are registered as proficient, despite many being officially listed as speaking Spanish at home. The same test will be administered at the end of the school year.

Standardized testing will also continue, include the kindergarten-wide KIDS and ACCESS, which measures English proficiency.

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