Christine Lee, Irving Reporter
Teachers from across the nation visited Irving Independent School District to learn what makes the district's bilingual learning program so successful.
Educators from across the country are learning about the Irving school district's successful dual-language program.
About 150 National Association for Bilingual Education conference attendees checked out the Irving Independent School District, which has won awards for bilingual education.
"They're here to see how students [are] learning a second language, whether it's learning English or learning Spanish," said Dora Moron, the district's bilingual/ESL director.
Students at Farine Elementary hosted 26 NABE attendees on Wednesday.
"They're coming to us for examples and good things to see," fourth-grader Hanna Allen said.
She won NABE's national essay-writing contest over hundreds of other applicants with the best essay in a second language. She will receive a $1,000 scholarship at NABE's luncheon on Thursday.
Many of the NABE conference attendees are school administrators, principals or teachers who want to see successful examples of a dual-language program in hopes of implementing similar programs at their schools.
"Our school is looking to do a dual-immersion program starting next year in Chinese," said Brad Jolley, the principal of Three Falls Elementary in Hurricane, Utah.
Farine Principal Julie Miller said that not everyone is a fan of learning another language.
"The main criticism that I have here is that, 'This is America. We speak English. Why are we teaching kids other languages?'" she said.
But Miller said she hoped her school's success can dispel any doubts.
"If we have the resources available to us to give the kids multilingualism, bilingualism, why would we not take advantage of that? It's a resource, it's not a detriment," she said.
More than 3,000 educators are taking various workshops at NABE's annual three-day conference, which is being held in Dallas.