City to Add 48 Bilingual Programs in Schools

P.S. 1 in Manhattan’s Chinatown attracts a diverse mix of students for its Mandarin dual language program. (Photo by Christina Veiga via Chalkbeat)

In his first major policy announcement, the new Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza said that New York City will add 48 bilingual education programs, reports Chalkbeat’s Christina Veiga, who noted that the additional programs will help English language learners and can push school integration efforts. Carranza made the announcement at P.S. 1 in Manhattan’s Chinatown.

The latest additions include 32 dual language programs, which split instruction between English and another language so that students learn both. Another 16 are transitional bilingual programs, which gradually shift instruction from the students’ native language to English.

With the expansion, the de Blasio administration has grown its bilingual education portfolio by more than 200 programs — including more dual language options in prekindergarten. The new programs expand on offerings in 10 different languages, including an Albanian program at P.S. 105 The Senator Abraham Bernstein School in the Bronx that officials say is the first of its kind in the city and the country.

The story points out two challenges to sustaining language programs: funding, and finding qualified teachers. The principal of P.S. 105 “was able to build the city’s Albanian program by thinking ahead to solve” the problem of finding teachers. Go to Chalkbeat to find out what he did, as well as for more details on Carranza’s announcement.

Also see coverage of the announcement from QNS’ Robert Pozarycki who reports on the 14 schools in Queens that will be part of the new bilingual programs, and Carranza’s own experience of starting grade school without being able to speak English.

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