By Noelle Charbonnier
Beaverton High School prides itself on its diverse student body. There are multiple classes and programs within the school that strengthen the community, and one of those is the new Dual Language Program.
For years, BHS has offered Spanish classes for native Spanish speakers to improve their literacy in the language, from Spanish Lit and Comp I, II, and III to AP Spanish. A few years ago, BHS added classes into the Dual Language Program, also known as the TWI (two-way immersion) Program. Currently, BHS offers Physics, Chemistry, STEM Chemistry, AGS 1, and AGS 2 in the Dual Language Program. They hope to add a social studies class in the years to come.
The Dual Language program has three main goals: to provide classes to students who have been in Dual Language programs for years, to provide for students who have never taken a dual language course or a formal Spanish course but are heritage speakers, and to help English Language Learners (ESL). English Language Learners come from other countries and have a certain amount of formal education. They may have English experience, but if they have little or none, the Dual Language Program is a great way to get them plugged into school because they understand the content. The idea of Dual Language is that students in the program take at least half of their classes in Spanish. If students complete this, they are eligible to acquire a Seal of Biliteracy on their diploma.
Eligibility requirements are straightforward. A student must have more than general knowledge of the Spanish language. The content classes of the program (math, science and AP Spanish) are all regular classes but are taught entirely in Spanish. If a student is a native speaker or attended a Two-Way Immersion school in their elementary or middle school years, they might be better off looking at one of the Spanish Lit and Comp classes to improve their literacy in Spanish.