Spanish Dual Language

Why Dual Language?

Welcome to Herrera’s Dual Language Program where students’ participate in an innovative, tuition free program and converse in both Spanish and English. Students focus on language acquisition and vocabulary development, through a program that fosters a biliterate, bilingual and bicultural learning environment and community. Students benefit greatly when they learn a second language regardless of age. At Herrera, we believe that it is never too early or too late to start learning a second language. Becoming bilingual and learning multiple languages is valuable for our students because it enables them to become more successful in the global world. Learning a second language leads to more job opportunities as students launch their careers in a competitive and global world.

How does Dual Language work at Herrera?

Herrera follows a 50/50 Two-Way bilingual model.  A two-way bilingual model strives to enroll 50/50 population, instruct 50% of curriculum and schedule 50% of time in both languages.  What does this mean?

  • 50% population–  50% of the students speak English and 50% of students are native Spanish speakers.  We believe that students learn from each other and that English-speaking students are models for those learning English while the Spanish speakers are models for our Spanish learners.
  • 50% Curriculum– Curriculum is taught in both languages. Every subject is taught in both languages.  However, one misunderstanding is that the skills are taught twice.  This is not the case.  Research shows that once a skill or concept has been taught in one language, and learned, that skill or concept will be transferred to the second language.
  • 50% Time-At Herrer,a classes are taught half-day in one language and the second half of the day in the second language.  We believe that this model works best for our students.

We find that children who learn a second language are:


·     Confident and excited about learning

·     Better at understanding and appreciating diverse cultures

·     Strategic thinkers and problem solvers

·     More willing and interested in learning additional languages


See what the experts in the field say:


Preparing Your Child and You for Dual Language Kindergarten


6 Potential Brain Benefits of Bilingual Education

Thanks to the dual language program at Herrera, as a non-Spanish speaking student it allowed me the opportunity to pick up the language. From kinder to sixth grade, the exposure helped me prepare for the future more than I had imagined. For example, when I was ready to attend college at Arizona State University, because I was bilingual based on the a Spanish proficiency test called CLEEP, which measured my level of Spanish for students who had taken the equivalency of two to three semesters of Spanish. While I had never taken Spanish beyond Herrera’s dual language program, I passed all levels of the CLEP test and was able to obtain Spanish credit for several semesters, which helped me save time in college. It allowed me to focus on more appropriate levels of Spanish for myself. Thanks to my immersion in Spanish as an elementary student at Herrera, I am able to be more successful in my school life.


~ Moriah,
ASU Student & former Herrera student

Commonly asked questions:

Will my child be behind those who only learn in English?

No, your child will keep up with the curriculum. In most cases, the students in the Dual Language Program outperform those who are in the English only mainstream program.

What if I cannot support my child with their Spanish homework?

Homework is work that has been taught in the classroom and is to be used for practice of skills already learned.  If your child is having difficulty with their homework, contact the teacher.  Communication with the teacher is imperative.

How many years can I expect my child to receive Spanish Instruction?

We have a consistent program up to sixth grade.  Students receive some support in seventh and eighth grade. The support consists of cultural appreciation, basic grammar and writing skills.

What if my child receives special education services, can they enroll in the dual language program?

All children are welcomed into the dual language program.  We see students flourish in the Dual Language Program.

Do the students in the Dual Language Program receive any extra services?

Students in the Dual Language Program receive the same services as those who a do not participate in the dual language program.  This year we have a specialized teacher who works with students and teachers in the Dual Language Program.

My child is in an upper level grade. Is it too late to place them in a Dual Language Program?

It is never too late to start learning a second language.  In general, most students are not exposed to a second language until they enter high school.  Early exposure to a second language will yield greater benefits to a high school education and beyond.

Questions about Herrera program:

Call 602-257-3885 for more information.

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