First Class of Two-Way Dual Language Students Entering High School in Pasco

<p>Dual Language Students</p>

Dual Language Students

It's the first week of school and the first class of two-way dual language students in Pasco are entering Pasco and Chiawana High Schools this year.

"It's good because I can communicate with my family members and a lot of the people that don't speak English and it hekps me reach a wider range of them and then it helps me get a better job," said Kristy Monoya.

"Help me get the better job and money and I can move out of Pasco," Zelann-e Mcgary.

Monoya and Mcgary met on their first day of kindergarten at Maya Angelou Elementary in Pasco and they are part of the school district's first dual language class.

The students learn their lessons equally in English and Spanish. This week, they started their first year at Pasco High School.

They've enjoyed it but they've also faced many challenges.

"Doing all the proper grammer, it was hard with accents and putting things in words and spelling them right and taking all these big texts that I didn't like," said Mcgary.

"I'm pretty sure my mom and dad have higher expectations for me and my teacher too becauase it is one of my native languages so they expect me to know all this and I have to meet that standard and it's kind of hard sometimes," said Monoya.

Omar Escalara has been a teacher for the program the last seven years, he taught both Monoya and Mcgary and is now teaching an 8th grade class at McLoughlin.

"Our kids rank in 99th percentile interms of spanish language and vocabulary so they have progressed quite nicely," Escalara.

Escalara also teaches math and science in Spanish.

"If they choose to be lawyers, doctors or accountants, they're going to be able to serve both communites, the English speaking community and the Spanish speaking community, which is a is a tremendous advantage in the work force," said Escalara.

One of Escalara's current students has also been apart of the proram since kindergarten and she knows this will open up a number of opportunities for her.

"I'm just really excited to let the colleges know I speak Spanish and it'll be an extra opportunity for me to get a better job," Samantha Cissne.

Escalara speaks to the students in Spanish 80% of the time and English the other 20%.