School to offer Chinese-English dual language classes

February 25, 2010 3:11:13 PM PST
Some students in Fort Bend County will have the opportunity to learn one of the most widely spoken languages in the world - Chinese. The Stafford Municipal School District says it will start offering dual language courses in Chinese and English at its elementary school. It's different than what you might think of as a foreign language class in school.

Playtime and lunch time may be the focus of most five year olds, but for the kids at Stafford Primary School, their principal has bigger plans.

"I wanted to offer that not just to my children, but all the children I serve," said Stafford Primary School Principal Kim Vu.

She wants to initiate a Chinese-English dual language class starting next year. That means eligible kindergartners will study both English and Chinese in class with the idea that the kids will grow up being bilingual.

"This is something very close to my heart. I'm also bilingual," said Principal Vu.

Parents were informed of the possibility of a dual language program just a few weeks ago and so far the response is upbeat.

"I think it is a good idea, just so that they can learn more than one language, and I think it helps them," said parent Josie Regina.

Another parent said, "It's kind of hard for us. We're having trouble with him learning that second language. It would be a bit more helpful if they could do it at school."

Principal Vu presented the idea to the Stafford superintendent. Although he still has to get board approval, he's optimistic. Even the city's mayor pledged his support, pointing out that a better educated student population will improve an entire community.

"Stafford feels like it has the ability, the economy and certainly the school district to put this type of program into effect," said Stafford Mayor Leonard Scarcella.

It will be up to the school board to make the final decision.

Stafford has a very diverse population so the program should be well received.